Idaho student murders suspect Bryan Kohberger completes first year behind bars

Kohberger spent 29th birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas behind bars

Bryan Kohberger, the 29-year-old former criminology Ph.D. student accused of killing four University of Idaho undergrads in a home invasion stabbing last year, is about to complete his first full year behind bars.

The quadruple murder suspect has not yet gone to trial, and a judge entered not guilty pleas on his behalf in May to four murder charges and felony burglary.

He waived his right to a speedy trial and has attempted to fight the charges on procedural grounds, with his publicly funded defense team unsuccessfully trying to have the indictment against him dismissed.

Kohberger wearing a red jail issue jumpsuit

Bryan Kohberger arrives at Monroe County Courthouse in Pennsylvania in advance of an extradition hearing. He is charged with the murders of four University of Idaho students. (The Image Direct for Fox News Digital)

Kohberger is accused of killing three housemates and one of their visitors on Nov. 13, 2022. Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, 21-year-old best friends, were both discovered in the former's upstairs bedroom, where police also recovered a Ka-Bar knife sheath they say had DNA on it that matched Kohberger.

Weeks after the murders, police in Pennsylvania arrested Kohberger at his parents' house in the Pocono Mountains.

While behind bars, he passed his 29th birthday and spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in the Latah County Jail in Moscow, Idaho. He has also received what Goncalves' father describes as "unprecedented" treatment.


A compilation of mugshots of Idaho student murders suspect Bryan Kohberger, a 29-year-old criminologist accused of sneaking into an off-campus rental home and killing four students with a knife at 4 a.m. on Nov. 13, 2022. (Monroe County, Pennsylvania, Latah County, Idaho)

"I've been informed that his pretrial privileges, like his five suits, video and computer special treatment and vegan meals are unprecedented in the history of Idaho," Steve Goncalves previously told Fox News Digital.

On the Idaho home's middle level, police found Xana Kernodle, 20, the third housemate, and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin, also 20, who lived at the Sigma Chi fraternity house on the other side of the university's band field.

The landlord later donated the property to the university, which had the house demolished on Dec. 28, with plans to build a memorial garden designed by UI architecture students.

Time-lapse video shows demolition of Idaho student murders houseVideo

Judge John Judge gave Kohberger's defense a minor victory in October, ordering the prosecution to share some genetic genealogy evidence with him for an in-camera review, an inspection by the judge done in private.


Idaho victims last photo

Madison Mogen, top left, smiles on the shoulders of her best friend, Kaylee Goncalves, as they pose with Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, and two other housemates in Goncalves' final Instagram post, shared the day before the four students were stabbed to death. (@kayleegoncalves/Instagram)

On Nov. 30, prosecutors submitted the evidence to the judge.

Kohberger wants to see the evidence as part of the discovery process.

Latah County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson has argued that since the state did use it to obtain warrants, he should not have to share it.

"The state’s argument that the IGG investigation is wholly irrelevant since it was not used in obtaining any warrants and will not be used at trial is well supported," Judge wrote previously. "Nonetheless, Kohberger is entitled to view at least some of the IGG information in preparing his defense, even if it may ultimately be found to be irrelevant."

A split photo of the deceased students.

University of Idaho students from left to right: Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21. All four were stabbed to death in an off-campus rental home in Moscow, Idaho, on Nov. 13, 2022. (Jazzmin Kernodle via AP/Instagram/@kayleegoncalves)

All four victims were undergrad students at the University of Idaho. Kohberger, who attended the neighboring Washington State University in pursuit of a Ph.D. in criminology, drove a white Hyundai Elantra, the same type of car investigators identified as the suspect vehicle, and allegedly turned his phone off before heading to and from the crime scene, according to the affidavit.

Police, citing phone records, also alleged that he stalked the victims' home on a dozen occasions before the murders and drove by once more hours after. 

Kohberger is being held without bail. Judge entered not guilty pleas on his behalf at his arraignment in May.

Judge John Judge speaks from the bench in his Latah County courtroom in Idaho

Judge John Judge speaks during a hearing on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023, at the Latah County Courthouse in Moscow, Idaho. (August Frank/Pool via REUTERS)

He could face the death penalty if convicted – possibly by firing squad.

Goncalves said he tried finding out who paid for the suits and getting other information about the defense budget through a public records request, but it was denied under a gag order in the case.

"They won't tell us," he said. "But I witnessed the moment they agreed not to handcuff him in court."

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.