Case dismissed against man accused of threatening to blow up apartment complex

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldOctober 21, 2013 

A 50-year-old man accused of threatening to blow up a Richland apartment complex suffers from a psychotic disorder and can't help with his defense, a state psychologist said.

The criminal case against Daniel B. Kieneker has been dismissed because even after treatment, his mental status hasn't improved enough to go to trial, Randall Strandquist said.

The Richland man can understand the court proceedings and the participants as "his thoughts appear to be clearer, (yet) he remains disorganized and delusional," Strandquist wrote earlier this month to Benton County Superior Court.

"It is my opinion that he will not likely show significant improvement within a reasonable time, if further restoration was ordered."

Kieneker had been charged with one count of threats to bomb or injure property for the alleged March 11 incident at the Jadwin Stevens Apartments.

However, Strandquist said in his letter that the case against Kieneker should be dismissed so Eastern State Hospital officials can pursue a civil commitment to a psychiatric center.

Kieneker will again be evaluated under that process, followed by a hearing in Spokane County within a month to determine if he will be involuntarily locked up in a secure unit at the Medical Lake facility.

If officials at the state-run facility decide not to file a petition seeking commitment under state law, they're to notify the court and all attorneys on Kieneker's case immediately.

According to Richland police and court documents, Kieneker went into the office of his 1851 Jadwin Ave. complex on March 11 and became aggressive and harassing toward the manager. He made claims that the manager was hiring convicts on her property, said he'd take care of it if she did not, and threatened to blow up the building.

Kieneker returned the following day, yelling at the woman about the government and saying he was going to "take everyone down" with him, documents said.

He left, but then turned around and started walking back to the office. The manager locked herself in the office and called 911 as Kieneker allegedly banged on the doors and continued yelling about the government.

Richland officers met with the manager and then two complex employees who said Kieneker had become increasingly confrontational with them and had made references to someone cutting them up like pigs or feeding them to the pigs, court documents said.

Police went to Kieneker's apartment and found the front door open. He reportedly invited them inside.

Kieneker invoked his right to remain silent when he was arrested, but then he began to talk incessantly and rambled on about the federal courts, U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray and serial killer Gary Ridgway, documents said.

Three weeks into the criminal case against Kieneker, the court placed it on hold and ordered a mental evaluation.

On Aug. 22, Kieneker was found incompetent to stand trial based on another report from Strandquist. The judge ordered 45 days of competency treatment, to include "antipsychotic-psychotropic medication and appropriate lab work."

Strandquist noted in his initial report that Kieneker has a history of being found incompetent for trial because of symptoms of his mental disease.

Kieneker was evaluated by a psychologist at Western State Hospital in April 2010 after being charged with third-degree malicious mischief for allegedly damaging signs at a metro station. And in September 2012, he reportedly was arrested for disorderly conduct, told Benton County jail staff that he'd stopped taking his medication and was a government agent, and was assessed as having a stream of thought that "reveals a flight of ideas with illogical/bizarre content."

In his follow-up report, Strandquist said Kieneker is taking his medications even though he doesn't want to, continues to have "grandiose, delusional beliefs" and has no insight into his mental illness.

Kieneker was aware of his legal situation and the potential outcomes to his case, but Strandquist said he was concerned about Kieneker's ability to help in his defense because his thoughts can be scattered.

Kieneker's case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it can be re-filed at a later date if he regains competency and is deemed fit to face a jury.

w Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531;; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service