Homicide suspect no longer enrolled at WSU

Kohberger faces five criminal charges, status hearing to be held this week


Steven M. Falk | Tribune Content AgencyCONT

Bryan Kohberger was arrested on Dec. 30 in Monroe County, Pennsylvania.

GABRIELLE BOWMAN, Evergreen news co-editor

Bryan Kohberger, the suspect in the homicides of four University of Idaho students, is no longer a student at WSU. 

In an email sent to the Daily Evergreen, WSU Pullman Chancellor Elizabeth S. Chilton wrote that she is not at liberty to give out more information about Kohberger’s student status due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, however, he was an enrolled student but is not one anymore. Chilton did not say when Kohberger was unenrolled and why. 

Kohberger appeared for the first time in court Thursday at the Latah County Courthouse and was charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 2o. The crimes occurred on Nov. 13, 2022, between 4-4:25 a.m., according to the probable cause affidavit. He is also facing one count of felony burglary. 

The homicides have shaken up Moscow, Idaho, and Pullman communities. Kohberger had been a student at WSU since August 2022, studying to get his Ph.D. in criminology. He was also a teaching assistant in the Department of Criminal Justice.

“The last few months have been trying, and the announcement of the arrest of Bryan Christopher Kohberger, a former WSU Ph.D. student, as a suspect in the deaths of four University of Idaho students has shocked our communities,”  Chilton wrote in an email sent to the WSU community Jan. 3. 

Kohberger lived in Pullman at the time of the homicides in Steptoe Village Apartments, which are WSU-owned graduate student apartments. Neighbors were shocked to find out about Kohberger’s arrest. 

“I thought I was moving to a safe, small community, but that hasn’t been the case recently,” Nephi Duff, a neighbor of Kohberger, said to Krem 2. “I just think if these things are happening right under my nose, how do I protect [my family]?” 

Kohberger was arrested in his family home in Pennsylvania where police tracked him after recovering DNA evidence left on a knife sheath left next to one of the victims at the crime scene. 

Law enforcement was also able to use video surveillance to track Kohberger’s movements, according to the affidavit. Police were then able to connect the DNA left at the crime scene to his family home from trash at the residence. 

Kohberger’s public defense attorney is Anne Taylor and the Latah County prosecuting attorney is Bill Thompson. During the court arraignment, Latah County Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall said if Kohberger pleads guilty or is found guilty of the four first-degree murders, he could be imprisoned for life or face the death penalty. 

A status hearing for Kohberger is scheduled for 10 a.m. Jan. 12 where both attorneys will bring up smaller issues regarding the case. They will update the judge and schedule the next hearing.