- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A state judge has dismissed a convicted murderer’s lawsuit that claimed the Nebraska prison system exacerbated the deterioration of his mental health by keeping him in solitary confinement for extended periods.

In an order issued Friday, a Lancaster County District judge said Nikko Jenkins, 28, failed to serve the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services with notice of the lawsuit, as required by law.

Jenkins acted as his own attorney in the lawsuit seeking $1.7 million in damages. Besides the claim about solitary confinement, it alleged that prison officials failed to adequately treat his mental illness while he was incarcerated for a decade for robbery, assault and various weapons counts.

Following his release, Jenkins shot and killed four people in Omaha over a 10-day period in August 2013 and was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder last year.

His sentencing is on hold as prosecutors wait to see if a law passed this year to repeal Nebraska’s death penalty goes into effect later this month.

In his lawsuit, Jenkins included 177 pages of documents detailing his history of mental illness and a transcript of a hearing that focused on his competency.

The documents include reports from prison psychiatrists and psychologists who treated Jenkins and recorded his delusions about hearing voices from an Egyptian god commanding him to commit violent acts or mutilate his face, which he has done several times.

The state ombudsman’s office issued a report in early 2014 that said officials should have done more to get treatment for Jenkins when he was in prison before his 2013 release and that the Department of Correctional Services missed several warnings about Jenkins’ mental health.

Before being released in 2013, Jenkins spent about two years in isolation because of behavior problems. The report said Jenkins’ extended segregation kept him from participating in programs that might have helped him prepare for life outside prison.

Corrections officials should have tried to have Jenkins committed to a mental hospital, the report said.

A department spokesman did not immediately return a message Wednesday seeking comment.

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