Competency of accused killer questioned; could postpone trial

ALGONA — The mental competency of a man accused of killing an Algona police officer last fall will be the subject of a hearing next week in a development that could significantly postpone his trial, which is scheduled for June.

Kyle L. Ricke, 43, of Algona, is accused of shooting and killing Police Officer Kevin Cram on the night of Sept. 13, 2023, when Cram tried to arrest him on a warrant for harassment.

Recently, one of Ricke’s attorneys, Matthew L. Pittenger, requested that his mental competency be evaluated.

“Probable cause exists to believe that the defendant’s current mental condition makes it impossible for him to appreciate the charges, understand the proceedings or assist effectively in his defense,” Pittenger wrote in a motion submitted to the court.

In response, District Court Judge Nancy L. Whittenburg scheduled a hearing on the matter for Friday.

Ricke’s trial is set to begin June 25. However, it could be delayed significantly if he is sent to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Oakdale for evaluation and treatment.

Cram found Ricke on Minnesota Street in Algona at about 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 and attempted to arrest him. Ricke shot him with a handgun and fled, according to criminal complaints filed against him.

Cram was taken to Kossuth Regional Health Center in Algona, where he died.

Late that night Ricke was found near Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, and was arrested. He has been in jail since then, with bond set at $2 million cash only.


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