Idaho Murder Trial Resumes: Bryan Kohberger Returns to the Courtroom
The capital murder trial of Bryan Kohberger is set for today, October 26th, after it was postponed in September “due to illness,” as stated by a court advisory. An update on the Idaho four murders has been long-awaited after Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial in late August.
This sensational trial has gripped the nation since Kohberger was indicted on one count of burglary and four counts of murder in the first degree earlier this year. By this, Kohberger will be prosecuted for premeditated, shameless, and willful murders of the four college students. The defendant has maintained his innocence in the quadruple homicide, and a plea of not guilty was filed on his behalf by Judge John Judge of Latah County.
Over the past few months, Kohberger’s legal team has filed multiple motions to throw out the grand jury indictment. The hearings are open to the public and will cover motions filed by the defense, including Dismissal of the Indictment on Grounds of Biased Grand Jury, Inadmissible Evidence, Lack of Sufficient Evidence, and Prosecutorial Misconduct in Withholding Exculpatory Evidence.
6 Weeks in the Unknown
In the early hours of November 13, 2022, four University of Idaho students were brutally murdered in their off-campus college home. According to a Moscow Police press release, law enforcement responded to a report of an unconscious person after receiving a call at 11:58 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13. Upon arrival, police discovered four deceased individuals, later to be identified as Madison Mogen, 21 Kaylee Goncalves 21, and Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, both 20. The remaining two roommates were found to be unharmed.
For the next 6 weeks, the four students became a household name as the media and public were consumed by the horrific killings. Many internet sleuths took action over social media platforms, advocating for an arrest to be made. Moscow Police reported, “Over 19,000 tips were received with over 9,000 through email, 4,500 by phone, and over 6,000 digital media submissions”.
One of the key pieces of the mystery that circulated in the media was surveillance footage from a food truck that revealed two of the deceased roommates, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, only a few hours before the killings. The two later arrived home at 1:56 AM, as reported by Moscow Police.
Bryan Kohberger As Prime Suspect
On December 30, 2022, Bryan Kohberger was arrested in Pennsylvania for his connection to the fatal stabbings of four University of Idaho students: Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21, and Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, both 20. Kohberger was pursuing a Ph.D. in criminology at Washington State University prior to his arrest in connection to the murders.
“These murders have shaken our community, and I know that no arrest will restore the families or bring these young students back. However, we believe in the criminal process and continue to extend our most sincere condolences to the families,” said Moscow Police Chief James Fry.
In a recent interview with The Sun, the suspect’s relatives “described the case as surreal” and have distanced themselves from the ongoing trial. Kohberger’s aunt told reporters, “When I saw it on TV, I was just lost for words … speechless”.
A DNA sample taken from Kohberger was declared a “near-exact match” to the DNA discovered on a knife sheath left at the scene of the murders. The defense filed a motion in question of the DNA validity. Kohberger’s alibi, as presented by the defense, claimed the defendant often took “nightly drives,” which was the case during the night of the murders. The trial is set to resume today, October 26th.