For his latest mutilation, Nikko Jenkins says he sliced his penis.
Jenkins, 29, told court officials the cut — which he says required 27 stitches — was an homage to the Egyptian serpent god Jenkins claims to worship.
Jenkins, who killed four Omahans in August 2013, said his purported god, Apophis, told him to make his penis look like a serpent, according to court officials.
So he carved into it. Jenkins didn’t specify what surgical instrument he used. In the past, prison and court officials have expressed concern that someone was slipping Jenkins razor blades.
And in the past, Jenkins has kept his mutilations above the belt.
There have been the stupid: He meant to carve 666 in his head but was looking in the mirror, so he etched it backwards.
There have been the sinister: He cut the word “Satan” across his face and tried to slice his tongue to make it look like a snake, a laceration that required nine stitches.
And now there’s the squirmworthy.
His latest report of a disfigurement had prosecutors decrying Jenkins’ “ploys” and had state officials trying to figure out how Jenkins continues to obtain the means to mutilate himself.
A warden told a judge in July that cameras have been installed in Jenkins’ cell, absorbent socks have been placed under Jenkins’ cell door to prevent items from being passed underneath, and Jenkins is no longer allowed to shave. A correctional officer stands guard outside his cell all the time and is required to check on him every 15 minutes.
A state prison spokesman didn’t return calls Wednesday. State Ombudsman Marshall Lux, whose office has been checking on Jenkins’ prison placement, noted that Jenkins is in a segregated cell at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln.
“You really have to question how this keeps happening,” Lux said. “Nobody seems to know exactly what he’s got or how he’s getting it. It’s a mystery to me. And I’m guessing it’s a mystery to (prison officials).”
All of this comes as Jenkins awaits a death-penalty hearing for a vicious eight-day spree in which he committed the execution-style killings of Juan Uribe-Pena, Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz, Curtis Bradford and Andrea Kruger.
That hearing has been delayed by the Legislature’s repeal of the death penalty and a subsequent petition effort to allow Nebraska voters to decide whether the state retains capital punishment. With all of that looming, Jenkins’ death-penalty hearing likely won’t take place until next year.
In the interim, Jenkins has filed a motion to withdraw his no-contest pleas to the murders, saying the judge violated his rights by allowing an “incompetent insane defendant to self-incriminate himself.”
This summer, Judge Peter Bataillon held a hearing in which he pressed prison officials on how Jenkins is getting razor blades or whatever sharp objects he’s using. After Jenkins carved “Satan” into his face, Bataillon asked a warden: “Can you provide assurance this isn’t going to happen again?”
“We are trying to do everything we can,” said Robert Madsen, acting warden of the Lincoln prison. “We have procedures in place to prevent that from happening.”
Prosecutors have said Jenkins told prison employees that he self-mutilates so he can “use the insanity defense” and “embarrass the administration.”
He also is attempting to get a new placement. He told court officials he wants the judge to move him from the Lincoln prison back to the Douglas County Jail. Jenkins was transferred to Lincoln after he complained about his placement in Douglas County.
Lux acknowledged Jenkins’ desire to be transferred to a different prison. However, Lux said, he believes the mutilations are just another sign of Jenkins’ mental illness.
Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine disagreed.