Idaho college murders suspect Bryan Kohberger to make first court appearance since indictment
MOSCOW, Idaho - Bryan Kohberger, the criminology Ph.D. student accused of the home invasion murders of four University of Idaho undergrads, has been indicted by a grand jury in Latah County, authorities have confirmed.
The superseding indictment means the accused quadruple murderer will not have a chance to attack the evidence used to arrest him at a preliminary hearing that had been scheduled for the week of June 26. A new arraignment has been scheduled for Monday, May 22, at 9 a.m.
It also spares the two surviving housemates and other potential witnesses from having to testify under cross-examination prior to trial.
The move was not unexpected. Prominent Boise defense attorney Edwina Elcox said in January that it could be announced at any moment once a grand jury had been empaneled behind closed doors and convinced that the charges should stand.
"I was about confident as I could be that there would be an indictment in this case," she told Fox News Digital Wednesday.
Kohberger is accused of sneaking into a college town rental home around 4 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13 and butchering four students inside.
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At least some of them were sleeping at the start of the ambush, according to Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt.
Bryan Kohberger looks toward his attorney, public defender Anne Taylor, right, during a hearing in Latah County District Court on January 5, 2023, in Moscow, Idaho. Kohberger has been arrested for the murders of four University of Idaho students in N
Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin all received posthumous honors at the university’s commencement ceremony over the weekend.
Goncalves and Mogen were 21. They shared a six-bedroom home with Kernodle, 20, and two young women who were not attacked.
Chapin, 20, was dating Kernodle and spending the night.
One of two surviving roommates told police she heard crying from Kernodle's room and a man saying, "It's OK, I'm going to help you." Then she saw a masked man with "bushy eyebrows" walk out the back door.
Police found DNA evidence on a Ka-Bar knife sheath left near Mogen's body and said that they pieced together the movements of Kohberger's cellphone and white Hyundai Elantra, according to a probable cause affidavit unsealed in January after his arrest on four counts of first-degree murder and felony burglary.
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He allegedly visited the victims' house at least a dozen times before the murders and returned one last time hours after the slayings but before 911 had been called.
He could face the death penalty – and Idaho has no insanity defense.
The murders shocked the country and attracted national media coverage, prompting a gag order in the case that faces appeals from an attorney for Goncalves’ family and a coalition of media outlets.
Kohberger is due at the Latah County Courthouse on Monday, May 22. He is currently being held without bail at the county jail next door.
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According to past acquaintances, Kohberger became addicted to opioids in his late teens but sobered up to pursue a career in criminal justice. He earned a master’s degree from DeSales University in Pennsylvania and then entering a Ph.D. program at Washington State University, less than 10 miles from the Idaho crime scene.
Bryan Christopher Kohberger is seen for the first time since his arrest Friday outside the Monroe County Courthouse in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. He is accused of the Moscow, Idaho, quadruple homicide. (Fox News Digital)
While at DeSales, Kohberger studied under an expert on serial killers, Dr. Katherine Ramsland, who co-wrote a book with the BTK Killer, Dennis Rader. Rader killed 10 people between 1974 and 1991.
Although some of Ramsland's students have reached out to Rader over the years, the killer told Fox News Digital earlier this year that he had never spoken with Kohberger. However, he said he could relate to him in terms of pretrial detention.
"Since I spent from February 2005 to April 2005 in a cell by myself I know how he feels," he told Fox News Digital. "Very lonely."
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In his lone semester at WSU, Kohberger studied under a department head who in her CV describes herself as specializing in "homicide, violent deaths [and] violence as a public health concern."