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The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

A summary of Bryan Kohberger’s case

The upcoming trial in late September decides whether cameras will be allowed in the courtroom moving forward
Since his arrest in December, the Kohberger trial has been one of the most talked about news events in the area

Nearly nine months after Bryan Kohberger was arrested in connection with the murders of four University of Idaho students, his trial is far from over.

In the early morning of Nov. 13, 2022, four University of Idaho students, Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, and Madison “Maddie” Mogen, 21, were murdered in their off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho. 

Although Moscow is a relatively small town, this event caught national news attention, bringing in the FBI, local police and members of the press from in and out of town. Even with all hands on deck, this event quickly turned into a sort of mystery, and little-to-no new information arose surrounding a suspect and the case itself. 

Dec. 30, 2022 changed the course of events when officials arrested Kohberger as the main suspect in relation to the quadruple homicides at the University of Idaho, at his parents home near Albrightsville, PA, according to The Independent. Police used DNA found at the crime scene in Moscow to help locate Kohberger at his family’s home.

Kohberger was then extradited to Idaho on Jan. 4 and taken to the Latah County courthouse where he awaited his preliminary hearing, originally scheduled for June. 

On May 16, a grand jury indicted Kohberger for four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary. The grand jury kept this a secret until Kohberger was indicted, skipping the previously planned preliminary hearing on June 26. 

Also according to The Independent, during Kohberger’s arraignment on May 22, he chose to stay silent when the judge asked him how he pleaded to the charges. This led the judge to fill in a “not guilty” plea for all five charges on his behalf. The initial trial date was set for Oct. 2, 2023.

According to the Spokesman-Review, on June 9 a judge heard arguments surrounding the non-dissemination order, also known as a gag-order, from the media coalition and Shanon Gray, the Goncalves family lawyer. The media coalition wanted to lift the order completely, while Gray wanted to amend parts of the order so he could talk to the press, not lift it entirely. 

The gag order prevents attorneys and officials working within the Kohberger case from speaking with members of the media. The defense and prosecution, however, argued that the gag order is necessary in protecting Kohberger’s Sixth Amendment, the right to a fair and speedy trial. 

Over the course of the summer, Kohberger’s defense team continued to look for evidence. On June 22, Kohberger’s defense team filed a motion for the prosecution of three additional DNA profiles found at the scene of the crime, none of which had a connection to Kohberger, according to The UI Argonaut. However, prosecutors said they had already given the defense all available evidence. 

Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson filed a notice to seek the death penalty on June 26 for Kohberger. Prosecutors have now decided to pursue the death penalty, according to CBS News

On Aug. 23, Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial, indefinitely postponing his trial, originally scheduled for Oct. 2. Kohberger’s attorney, Anne Taylor, said this was because the defense team could not be adequately prepared to present their case, according to CBS News. No new trial date was set. 

The most recently scheduled hearing for Sept 1. has been rescheduled for Sept 22. This hearing will discuss whether or not cameras will be allowed in the courtroom following any further proceedings within the Kohberger case. Kohberger’s defense is against having cameras in the courtroom.

A waiting game pans out now, as the decision made on Sept. 22 will largely impact the future of Kohberger’s trial.

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  • Isaac FroulaSep 14, 2023 at 8:48 pm

    Author’s writing is a 10/10. Amazing article.

  • HeidiSep 14, 2023 at 12:31 pm

    Great article-thank you

  • DinahSep 14, 2023 at 10:45 am

    I feel at least 1 main camera stream is needed in this mysterious case. It will promote transparency and integrity. Which I think most would agree is very much needed in this case. We don’t just want a conviction. We want the right person convicted and off the streets!

  • Sue G.Sep 12, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    Concise information, thank you. So much of the media info has been sketchy around this case.