The trial over a quadruple homicide involving four college students in Idaho has been delayed following a request from a lawyer representing the 28-year-old accused of the crime.
Bryan Kohberger is accused of fatally stabbing four University of Idaho college students – Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin – in an off-campus house on Nov. 13, 2022.
Although scheduled to begin on Oct. 2, his trial may be delayed. Khoberger appeared in Latah County Court on Aug. 23 where Anne Taylor, the lawyer representing Kohberger, told the court she may not be ready on time to effectively present the case and asked Latah County District Judge John C. Judge to waive the six-month trial date.
“Under Idaho law, a trial has to take place six months from an arraignment unless the defendant waives that right,” reports KTVB7. “Kohberger was arraigned in Idaho on May 22 after being indicted by a grand jury.”
Kohberger ultimately waived his right to a speedy trial.
The Pennsylvania native was a Criminology Ph.D. student at Washington State University, less than 10 miles from U of I’s campus in Moscow. He was taken into custody at his parents’ house in Pennsylvania on Dec. 30.
Once he was extradited to Idaho, an unsealed probable cause affidavit indicated his DNA had been matched to a knife sheath found inside the off-campus house. The affidavit also indicated one of the surviving roommates, who was not harmed during the Nov. 13 attack, saw “a figure clad in black clothing and a mask that covered the person’s mouth” in the home. She described the person as “5’10” or taller, male, not very muscular, but athletically built with bushy eyebrows.”
Law enforcement has also said data from a cell phone registered to Kohbereger indicates he was near the site of the murders at least a dozen times in the months preceding the murders.
A judge entered a not guilty plea to four charges of murder and one count of burglary in May after Kohberger opted to remain silent at his arraignment. He has so far not disclosed an official alibi, which is due Sept. 8.
Prosecutors announced on June 26 that they will seek the death penalty, citing “several aggravating factors” in the murders.
In a court filing, Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson said “the quadruple homicide incident in Moscow included more than one murder, Thompson noted — the first of five such aggravating factors,” that the murders were “especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity,” and that Kohberger “exhibited utter disregard for human life,” per The Idaho Statesman.
Kohberger’s family released a statement after he was taken into custody, saying they had “fully cooperated with law enforcement agencies in an attempt to seek the truth and promote his presumption of innocence rather than judge unknown facts and make erroneous assumptions.”
“First and foremost, we care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children. There are no words that can adequately express the sadness we feel, and we pray each day for them. We will continue to let the legal process unfold and as a family, we will love and support our son and brother,” the family told People. “We respect privacy in this matter as our family and the families suffering loss can move forward through the legal process.”