University of Idaho quadruple murder suspect Bryan Kohberger, 28, pleads NOT GUILTY to murder
The man suspected of savagely knifeing four college students to death last November – leaving a scene police described as ‘the worst we’ve ever seen’ – has appeared in court in Moscow, Idaho, where he refused to enter a plea to four counts of murder in the first degree.
Criminology student Bryan Kohberger, 27, had been expected to plead not guilty but instead, chose to use Idaho’s ‘standing silent’ plea which means he has not pleaded either way but can still be tried.
The trial date has been set for October 2.
Kohberger had been due to face a preliminary hearing but in a surprise twist announced last week, the University of Washington PhD candidate was indicted by an Idaho Grand Jury who heard the evidence in secret and decided to send the case to a full trial.
Best friends Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, both 21, and young couple Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, both 20, died in the horror attack, which was so brutal, blood could still be seen dripping down the walls of their rental home days after the killing.
Bryan Kohberger, 28, appeared in court in Moscow, Idaho, Monday where he pleaded not guilty over the University of Idaho quadruple murders
Maddie Mogen (top) Kaylee Goncalves (left) Xana Kernodle (right) and Ethan Chapin (center) – all students at the University of Idaho – were knifed to death on November 13 in the quiet college town of Moscow
Police eventually apprehended Kohberger during a raid on his parents’ Poconos Mountains, Pennsylvania home on December 30 and he was flown back to Idaho in a small Pilatus PC-12 turboprop plane on January 4.
Since being returned to the Gem State, the alleged killer has been locked up at the Latah County Jail, with prison sources telling DailyMail.com he spends his time obsessing over TV coverage of the case and has turned to God – meeting with a local pastor every sunday.
Monday’s appearance, which saw the 27-year-old arrive in court wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and looking pale, is his first since being formally charged with the killings in early January.
Kohberger was satly silent as Judge John Judge read his rights and reiterated that he faces the death penalty if found guilty of any of the murder charges before answering ‘yes’ when asked if he understood repeatedly.
Then, as the four murder charges and one of burglary were read out by Judge Judge, he sat flicking through his indictment papers and shifting in his seat before his lawyer Anne Taylor told the judge her client would be ‘standing silent’ when asked to respond .
The non-plea now means the case will proceed to trial, with Taylor asking the judge to schedule a six-week trial that is now set to commence on October 2.
Looking on were Madison’s dad Ben Mogen and Kaylee’s parents Steve and Kristi, both dressed in black, who looked sad and serious as their daughters’ names were heard in the packed courtroom.
The November 13 killings shocked the tiny college town of Moscow which had not seen a single murder for seven years when Madison, Kaylee, Ethan and Xana were found dead in their beds.
Police initially appeared to be stumped by the murders and issued a series of contradictory statements over whether the students had been targeted and whether the public was at risk.
Criminology student Kohberger appeared in court in Moscow, Idaho, on Monday and stood silent, leading the judge to enter the not guilty plea on his behalf.
The Moscow, Idaho, home where the murders took place is now boarded up
Best friends Kaylee and Madison were discovered dead in bed next to each other.
Ethan and Xana were found on the floor below, with Xana discovered slumped over on the floor of her bedroom in the off-campus home
Shortly before Thanksgiving, they released a photo of a white Hyundai Elantra and a plea for further information about the vehicle’s movements and owner.
The car turned out to belong to Kohberger who, in an extraordinary twist, was pulled over twice while driving the vehicle back to Pennsylvania in early December.
Since his arrest, it has emerged that loner Kohberger had battled heroin addiction in his teens and early twenties, and was banned from a bar near his parents’ home due to his creepy behavior toward women.
Police sources have since said that following his move to Pullman, Washington, to pursue a PhD in criminology, he applied to work for the University of Washington police department – but was turned down.
Fellow students said he took an unusual amount of interest in the Moscow murder case and described his ‘sexist’ attitude toward women in his classes.
As a result of his ‘rude behavior’ toward women and his penchant for grading them differently, he was fired by his professor at the WSU criminology department John Snyder on December 19 – just days before his arrest for murder.
Kohberger was indicted by an Idaho Grand Jury who heard the evidence in secret and decided to send the case to a full trial. He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary.
Over the weekend, a Dateline report provided further evidence of his bizarre behavior with a female friend at WSU claiming he broke into her home a month before the murders and moved her possessions about to make her feel ‘uneasy’.
She also said she had asked him to set up security cameras to help her catch the person who had moved her belongings – only to belatedly realize he was the culprit and, chillingly, had enjoyed access to the footage.
Kohberger is believed to have meticulously planned the murders of Madison, Kaylee, Ethan and Xana, with a probable cause affidavit noting that he had repeatedly visited the area around their home prior to the killings.
The document also said his DNA was found on a KA-BAR knife sheath found next to the bodies of Kaylee and Madison, and that he was seen in the home by roommate Dylan Mortensen, 19.
Kaylee and Madison were discovered dead in bed next to each other, while Ethan and Xana were found on the floor below, with Xana discovered slumped over on the floor of her bedroom.
Kohberger was pulled over twice while driving his car back to Pennsylvania in early December.
According to the document, survivors Mortensen and Bethany Funke heard something of what happened, with Mortensen telling cops she heard Goncalves say ‘there’s someone here’ at approximately 4am.
Ten minutes later, she heard a thud and crying from Xana’s room and a male voice saying ‘it’s ok, I’m going to help you’.
At 4.17am, a dog was captured barking loudly on a neighbour’s security camera. Around the same time, Mortensen said she opened her bedroom door again and saw a tall male with bushy eyebrows leaving through the sliding glass doors at the back of the house.
She described how she had been ‘frozen in shock’ as the black-clad male walked towards her and said she locked herself in her room after he left.
A shoe print was later found outside her door.
The affidavit also reveals that Kohberger’s white Hyundai Elantra was captured on camera near the scene before being seen driving rapidly away from the home toward Pullman at approximately 4.20am.
Police rapidly connected the vehicle to Kohberger and noted the similarity between his appearance and Mortensen’s description of the intruder at the rental home.