Posted: Sep 12, 2013 8:13 PM by MTN News
GREAT FALLS - A District Court judge has ruled that Kaleb Kuebler, the Great Falls teen who sustained serious injuries after jumping over the third floor railing in the Cascade County courthouse last week, can be transferred to a youth correctional facility as he continues recovering.
Kuebler threw himself over the railing as he was being escorted in shackles to a hearing last week, landing on the second floor of the courthouse rotunda.
Kuebler is charged with raping an 11-year-old girl in October 2012.
He sustained serious injuries and has been at Benefis hospital since then.
During Thursday's hearing to decide on whether Kuebler could be transferred, the defense argued that he should not be transported to the Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility in Miles City because it is more convenient for an upcoming competency hearing to be performed in Great Falls.
The defense also argued that it would be more difficult to communicate with his client from such a distance, and that Great Falls has better medical resources than Miles City.
Judge Gregory Pinski granted the state's motion to transfer Kuebler to Pine Hills - or a similarly secure youth correctional facility - once Kuebler is "medically stable" for discharge and transportation.
In his order, Judge Pinski noted that there is no evidence that Kuebler's incarceration at another facility outside of Great Falls would interfere with his right to counsel, and that a competency hearing can be conducted at any location, adding that the "convenience of the evaluator is not a consideration for this Court."