Suspect in tot’s death deemed competent
Nevada Appeal News Service
The Fallon man accused in the beating death of a 2-year-old girl in August has been deemed competent to stand trial on murder charges.
Jose Valencia Jr. was evaluated by mental health experts at Lake’s Crossing, a state mental health facility in Sparks. A report from the hospital indicates Valencia knows the difference between right and wrong and is capable of assisting his attorney in his defense.
The murder case was sent back to Churchill County Justice Court Tuesday by District Judge Archie E. Blake for a preliminary hearing. No date for the hearing has been set.
Valencia, 27, is accused of killing Nikaliah Kanoch. The toddler was taken off life support at Washoe Medical Center Aug. 16, two days after she was airlifted to Reno.
He has been formally charged with first-degree murder by means of child abuse.
The Churchill County District Attorney’s Office alleges Valencia kicked and hit the child with a closed fist and a clothes hanger at a residence on East Virginia Street while the child’s mother was at work. Valencia was the mother’s boyfriend.
Court documents state the girl’s body had several bruises, scratch marks, several human bite marks and a disfigured wrist when she was hospitalized.
Nikaliah’s 5-year-old brother told police Valencia hit his sister in the face with his fist and a hanger before he placed her in a bedroom, court documents state.
Also arrested in connection with the case was Henry Allen Camacho, 23. Fallon police said Camacho was baby-sitting the children and initially lied to police, saying he was the only person home the day Nikaliah was allegedly hurt. He is accused of child abuse causing substantial bodily harm.