In letter, Nikko Jenkins says he wants to plead guilty to all counts in 4 slayings -
Published Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 12:00 am / Updated at 6:40 pm
In letter, Nikko Jenkins says he wants to plead guilty to all counts in 4 slayings

Warning: Nikko Jenkins' letter contains language that may be disturbing to some readers. Click to read Jenkins' letter.

* * *

Nikko Jenkins wants to plead guilty to the August slayings of four people in the hope that he will shield his victims' families from gruesome crime-scene photos and court testimony.

The source of that information? Jenkins himself.

In separate letters to The World-Herald, prosecutors and even the judge overseeing his case, Jenkins said he wants to plead guilty to all first-degree murder and weapons charges in the shooting deaths of Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz and Juan Uribe-Pena in Spring Lake Park, Curtis Bradford near 18th and Clark Streets and Andrea Kruger near 168th and Fort Streets.

“Please help me help the victums [sic] families of my crimes get closure and please not be exposed to more misery and suffering sorrows of a trial,” Jenkins wrote in a letter received Wednesday by The World-Herald. “I wish to plead guilty to all counts.”

Jenkins wrote that he sent similar requests to Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine and “my judge” – District Judge Peter Bataillon. Officials confirmed receiving those letters, though they declined to release copies.

Jenkins then went a step farther. A young woman – believed to be one of his girlfriends – went to the District Court clerk's office Wednesday with a "waiver and plea of guilty." The woman, who gave only the first name Johnetta, claimed to be Jenkins' power of attorney and said that Jenkins wanted her to enter guilty pleas to all 16 counts he faces.

Though in the court file, that document – which is actually a form used for misdemeanors in county court, not district court – "means nothing" as far as Jenkins' fate, court officials say. The woman had no paperwork proving she was Jenkins' power of attorney. And any pleas would have to be handled in court after a judge advised Jenkins of his rights.

Nonetheless, the multiple letters and filings seemed to indicate Jenkins' intentions.

Jenkins stood silent Oct. 9 when Bataillon asked him to answer to the charges that he killed four people. The judge then entered not guilty pleas on Jenkins' behalf.

Just because a defendant declares he wants to plead guilty doesn't mean it will happen.

Defense lawyers are loath to have their clients plead guilty to first-degree murder charges – especially when such a plea could land them on death row.

Kleine has filed for the death penalty in Jenkins' case. Typically, defense attorneys allow their clients to plead guilty only if prosecutors are willing to take the death penalty off the table.

Kleine said he wasn't ready to discuss those options yet. He noted that Jenkins' attorneys haven't asked for a plea hearing. Nor has anyone even mentioned plea negotiations, he said.

Kleine said he also received a letter Wednesday similar to the one Jenkins sent to The World-Herald. He turned it over to Omaha homicide detectives to be booked into evidence against Jenkins.

The letters were the latest in a line of missives from Jenkins, who has proved himself a prolific letter writer.

Before his July 30 release from prison, Jenkins wrote a series of letters to prosecutors and judges. The ones written in print were legible and typically raised issues that he was being mistreated in court or in prison.

The other letters, in cursive, were filled with nonsensical run-on sentences warped into geometric shapes.

In those, Jenkins claimed to be ruled by an Egyptian serpent demon named “Ahpophis” and warned that he would protect the kingdom with “animalistic savage brutality.”

The latest letter was a mix of both. Jenkins hit on his previous themes — that he tried to obtain psychiatric treatment in prison on his belief that he was schizophrenic and bipolar. Jenkins claimed that prison officials refused to treat him.

“I never wished for anyone to be killed,” Jenkins wrote. “I only wanted help psychiatric treatment ... NE State mental health professional failed ... as I requested to be hospitalized numerous times. They had full knowledge of Ahpophis And demonic forces.”

A state psychiatrist who evaluated Jenkins has written that he believed Jenkins was making up his claims of being commanded by demons. The psychiatrist diagnosed Jenkins as suffering only from antisocial personality disorder — essentially finding that he's a sociopath who would not be amenable to treatment.

In the latest two-page letter, Jenkins claims to have “repented my sins to God.”

“I Begg [sic] for His mercy And Grace to Forgive me yet Jesus is convicting me to spare these families traumatization of Seeing the Brutal Facts of what a mentally ill schizophrenic did to their family,” he wrote.

“The victums' [sic] families do not deserve to see the Brutal nature their family members were killed in crime scene photos that will be largely displayed at trial...''

Kruger's husband, Michael-Ryan Kruger, was skeptical of Jenkins' intentions — saying the letter gave him “a lot to chew on.”

Kruger said he is “indifferent” on the death penalty and wouldn't necessarily be dead-set against Jenkins facing a life sentence instead of capital punishment.

Kruger expressed reservations about the couple's children — Ava, 4, Hartley, 2, and Jadyn, 13 — having to relive their mother's death every time Jenkins came up in a death penalty appeal over the next 20 years.

As for the trauma of a trial, Kruger said he fully expects at least some of Jenkins' family members — seven are charged — to take their case to trial. Kruger noted that prosecutors have assured him that they will forewarn him any time graphic testimony or photos are approaching.

“In my opinion, it's a slam-dunk case,” Kruger said. “So it's not like he's saving me from anything. It just makes you wonder if it's another ploy.”

Timeline: 4 killings tied to Nikko Jenkins

Contact the writer: Todd Cooper    |   402-444-1275

Todd covers courts and legal issues for The World-Herald.

96th Street to have head-to-head traffic
3 Nebraska Board of Education candidates call for high standards
At NU's helm, J.B. Milliken built the university by building relationships with state leaders
Video: Stothert says Crossroads project is 'full speed ahead,' but she won't support bond issue
Ex-Obama official urges approval of Keystone XL pipeline
Benefit to be held for family of Omaha shooting victim
Omaha Personnel Board to weigh a ‘ban-the-box’ proposal for city job applications
New Alegent Creighton Clinic to open in Council Bluffs
Grace: Your older self has a request — use sunscreen
Kelly: Huskers' glory days of '80s live on — on the small screen and on stage
Agreement reached to end dog racing at Bluffs Run at end of 2015
Beau McCoy calls Pete Ricketts a 'convenient conservative' for immigration stance
Police ID body found near 36th, Seward Streets
World champion Crawford's promoter working to have title defense at CenturyLink Center
Hail, strong winds, heavy rain hit south-central Nebraska
'Fairly old' human skull found in Mills County
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
Omaha crash victim, 19, had touched many lives
Firefighters take on 'fully engulfed barn fire'
Council Bluffs school board approves new district headquarters
Officials announce effort to lure more veterans to Nebraska
SB 132nd Street lane closed
Shane Osborn grabs several endorsements
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
< >
Kelly: Huskers' glory days of '80s live on — on the small screen and on stage
The 1984 NFL draft was unusual for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and these days it's remembered in the name of a rock band, the 1984 Draft. Tonight, the band will be featured nationally on the NFL Network in a documentary about — what else? — the 1984 draft.
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
The idea that Paul Hogan had studied and then hatched at his mother's table was that older people, rather than moving in with relatives or to an assisted-living center, would much prefer to stay home instead.
Breaking Brad: Nebraska GOP candidates unified against naked squirrels
Some of these Nebraska campaigns are tilting pretty far right. At a recent forum, there was a consensus that we need to ban public dancing and clothe naked squirrels in public parks.
Breaking Brad: Inside the mind of a 99-year-old real estate agent
I saw an article about a 99-year-old real estate agent who's still working. “This house is extra special. It has indoor toilets!”
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a child climbed inside a claw machine. Hey, Florida kid: Nobody likes a copycat.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
7M Grill
Half Off Delicious Comfort Fusion Food & Drinks!
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »