Initial hearing for Idaho murder suspect delayed for months
MOSCOW, Idaho — The man accused of killing four University of Idaho students moved Thursday to delay a preliminary hearing in the case, postponing until June a decision on whether there is enough evidence on the charges to warrant a trial.
During a brief court hearing, Anne Taylor, the public defender representing the suspect, Brian Kohberger, requested a multi-day hearing in which prosecutors would present the full scope of the witnesses and other evidence in the case, delaying the expedited trial. to which he is entitled under the law. Without an objection from prosecutors, Lata County Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall set the trial to begin on June 26.
Mr Kohberger, dressed in an orange T-shirt and answering only yes or no questions, was returned to custody without bail.
Even as prosecutors and investigators lay a string of evidence about Mr. Kohberger, a criminology student at nearby Washington State University, they do not yet have a motive statement. Family members of the victims have been looking everywhere for information indicating a connection to Mr. Kohberger, but no clear link has emerged.
“They didn’t know her,” Shannon Gray, an attorney for the family of Kelly Goncalves, one of the victims, said in an interview. He said the families plan to share any details with investigators about a possible link, even those that seem unlikely.
The murders on November 13 shattered a sense of calm in a college town that had not recorded a single murder in years. Four students were found brutally stabbed in the middle of the night in a bedroom at a home near campus, with no suspects for weeks until Mr. Kohberger was arrested at his family home in Pennsylvania in late December. Done.
Victim – Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Zana Kurnodl, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20 – were killed after spending a typical Saturday night out on the town, two of them going to a party and the other two going to a bar before returning home in the morning. Investigators believe all four died shortly after 4 a.m.
In court documents released last week, investigators said they linked Mr Kohberger to the crime with the help of DNA found on a knife sheath found at the scene. He said surveillance video showed a white car similar to the one driven by Mr Kohberger driving around the neighborhood shortly before what investigators believe was the home.
Mr. Kohberger’s phone was tracked in the neighborhood on several occasions before the murders, and once the morning after them, but was not connected to a cell network at the time the deaths are believed to have occurred.
Mr. Kohberger has said through one of his public defenders that he looks forward to being acquitted, but has not yet entered a formal plea.
He has long been interested in studying the psychology of criminologists, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from DeSales University in 2020 and a master’s degree in criminal justice in June 2022. He then went to Washington State University to pursue a Ph.D. in Criminology.
Susan C. Beachy and Kirsten Noyce contributed research.