Court docs: Kidnapping suspect ‘unresponsive to stimuli'

BEMIDJI, Minn. – A court document filed by the public defenders assigned to Jacob Kinn indicate the defendant is not currently helping them prepare for his trial on charges he kidnapped a 5-year-old girl.

“In speaking with the jail staff, Mr. Kinn’s attorneys were informed that Mr. Kinn had, most recently, been largely unresponsive to stimuli: most notably, Mr. Kinn refused to walk; Mr. Kinn frequently urinated on himself; and Mr. Kinn seemingly lost the ability to verbally communicate,” the document states.

Kinn is charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting the 5-year-old Bemidji girl in late June. His trial is not yet scheduled, and his next court date is set for Oct. 28.

The disappearance of the girl was discovered when first responders were called to a trailer fire, and the child's parents told authorities she had been staying in the trailer with her babysitter, Melissa Norby. Norby's remains were discovered in the trailer, but the little girl's were not. Kinn was identified as a person of interest in the case due to a prior child pornography conviction and his prior sexual relationship with Norby.

Kinn was taken into custody, and reportedly directed authorities to a camper outside of Bigfork, where the little girl was found alive.  

Investigators initially indicated they believed Kinn was also responsible for the fire and Norby's death, but no charges have been filed in that matter. 

According to the document, which requests access to Kinn’s medical records, attorneys Symon Schindler-Syme and Paul Thompson attempted to meet with Kinn in the Beltrami County Jail three times this month.

The first two times, jail staff told the attorneys Kinn was unable to meet with attorneys, explaining Kinn had been recently taken to the hospital, the document states.

When they were able to meet with him the next week, the attorneys write that jail staff escorted Kinn in a wheelchair. Kinn did not speak a single word and hardly reacted to the attorneys’ questions and comments.

“It was therefore unclear whether Mr. Kinn was physically able to speak or whether the disability pertained to a mental disorder,” the document states.

The attorneys indicate in the document that they don’t know whether Kinn is suffering from physical or mental problems, and ask the judge to disclose Kinn’s medical records so they can determine “any treatment or prognosis as it relates to Mr. Kinn’s right to due process.”

Questions about Kinn's compentency are just the latest twist in a case that has seen plenty already: Search warrants released in August reveal that detectives are trying to determine whether Melissa Norby had helped plan the girl's kidnapping so the two could sexually assault her. 


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