Idaho supreme court denies Bryan Kohberger’s bid to toss indictment for Idaho murders

A trial date has still not been set but Bryan Kohberger has requested to move the proceedings out of Latah County

Andrea Cavallier
Friday 15 March 2024 18:50 GMT
Bryan Kohberger, suspect in Idaho murders, seen on body cam
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The Idaho Supreme Court denied a request by Bryan Kohberger, the man charged with the 2022 slayings of four University of Idaho students, for his grand jury indictment to be thrown out.

Mr Kohberger’s attorneys argued, based on their interpretation of Idaho law, that grand jurors were inaccurately told that the standard for an indictment is that there is “probable cause” of the defendant’s guilt, instead of the higher threshold of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The request was first made on 8 February for the Idaho Supreme Court to appeal Latah County District Court Judge John Judge’s decision not to toss Mr Kohberger’s grand jury indictment in the quadruple murder case.

They sought to have the indictment dismissed due to what they referred to as a biased grand jury, inadmissible evidence, a lack of sufficient evidence and prosecutorial misconduct.

Bryan Kohberger is charged with the 2022 slayings of four University of Idaho students (Getty)

The attorneys also filed a separate motion seeking to seal Mr Kohberger’s request with a “motion to seal defendant’s motion for permission to appeal from interlocutory orders.”

The Idaho Supreme Court denied the first motion, but granted his request to hide the contents of his motion.

Mr Kohberger, a Ph.D. student at the nearby Washington State University, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary in the deaths of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin.

The students were found stabbed to death in an off-campus rental house in Moscow on 13 November 2022.

The military-style knife, believed to be the weapon, has never been recovered, however a knife sheath was found near one of the victims. That sheath contained a piece of DNA which was then matched to Mr Kohberger, according to authorities.

Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were killed on 13 November 2022 (Instagram)

The DNA was compared to trash found at the Kohberger family home in Pennsylvania, eventually leading to Mr Kohberger’s arrest.

A trial date has still not been set as Mr Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial.

Meanwhile, Mr Kohberger’s defence team is seeking to have the trial moved to a different county.

A hearing is scheduled for 14 May where the judge will hear arguments regarding Mr Kohberger’s request to move the trial out of Latah County.

Mr Kohberger’s attorneys have argued that a fair and impartial jury cannot be found in Latah County due to the case’s “extensive, inflammatory pretrial publicity” and the “small size of the community.”

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