The trial of four-time Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger was postponed indefinitely in October after he waived his right to a speedy trial.
Kohberger, 28, was in a Moscow court on Wednesday to discuss various matters. He was due to be tried in the coming months in connection with the brutal murder of four college students.
No date has been set for the future process, which could now be in months or even years.
He is facing quadruple murder charges for the November 13 murders of Maddie Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, at their off-campus home near the University of Idaho degree charged.
Although prosecutors wanted to find a solution as soon as possible, they raised no objection and agreed that this was the best option at this point.
28-year-old Bryan Kohberger was in court in Moscow for a status conference at which his lawyers and prosecutors agreed to leave the trial date for October 2
The former criminology student decided to remain “silent” on his charges and pleas of innocence were filed on his behalf
(LR) Roommates Dylan Mortensen, Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen (on Kaylee’s shoulders), Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle and Bethany Funke
The defense said it was unwilling to set a new hearing date.
A hearing is scheduled for September 1st, at which a new hearing date will be discussed.
According to Idaho News 6, the defense is expected to file challenges to the grand jury’s indictment and motions regarding courtroom cameras and witness statements.
This comes a week after his last court appearance last Friday, when Judge John Judge Kohberger gave Kohberger a September 15 deadline to make the decision.
During the all-day hearing, relatives of murdered University of Idaho student Kaylee Goncalves reportedly taunted Kohberger with a pro-death penalty T-shirt.
At the hearing, the suspected quadruple killer’s defense team justified the alibi presented this month – that he was traveling alone on the night of the murder – and questioned the techniques used by authorities to collect DNA evidence.
According to investigative reporter Kevin Fixler, during a recess in the proceedings, a family member of Goncalves was seen wearing a T-shirt promoting the death penalty by firing squad.
In June, prosecutors announced they would sentence Kohberger to death, and the country’s difficulties in obtaining lethal injections could see him killed by firing squad.
Fixler added that Kohberger appeared “relaxed” during the hearing, even chuckling when witnesses joked about scientific terms at the hearing.
Goncalves’ family shared an emotional message on a Facebook page hours before the hearing, expressing fears that Kohberger’s trial would be delayed.
“Please pray for our family today,” they wrote. “We want to get this process over with.” Just the thought that it could take years is killing me.”
“We fear that he will waive his right to a speedy trial,” the post said. “If he does that, the trial won’t start on October 2nd and it’s very likely that it won’t happen for the next few years.”
While the hearing was closed to the media and the public, victims’ families were allowed to participate via Zoom.
The defense has so far focused on examining the process by which investigators identified Kohberger as a suspect.
Investigators relied on genetic genealogy to base their charges against him and used genetic genealogy to create a DNA profile from DNA left on a knife sheath at the crime scene.
The FBI located Kohberger by tracing his distant relatives using genetic genealogy databases — and then secretly collected a DNA sample from his father to confirm his identity.
Police say the DNA found on a knife sheath left at the Idaho crime scene is a “statistical match” with a cheek swab taken from the suspect after his arrest.
The likelihood of seeing a sample of DNA left on the case is “at least 5.37 octillion times more likely when the source is the suspect than when the source is an unrelated person chosen at random from the general population.” , prosecutors said in the filing.
At previous hearings, prosecutors have insisted that Kohberger provide witnesses who can support an alibi. However, his defense said there is “currently no specific witness who could say exactly where Kohberger was on the night of the murder.”
Kohberger’s attorneys allege that he had a habit of “driving alone at night” and did so on the night of the murders
One of the surviving housemates who was not attacked also said she saw the killer and that he had “bushy eyebrows” – another characteristic of Kohberger’s appearance
“He was out late at night and into the early hours of the morning on November 12-13, 2022,” the attorneys said, adding that he “does not claim to be in any particular place at any particular time.”
Prosecutors demanded more details on his alleged alibi, saying that “driving in the area” did not exonerate him but instead got him to the crime scene.
Kohberger’s attorneys allege that he had a habit of “driving alone at night” and did so on the night of the murders.
His team has also asked that prosecutors be required to disclose the DNA profiles they will use in court.
The defense also filed a motion to postpone the trial to allow time for the grand jury to consider possible procedural issues, which indicted him in May.
In addition to insisting on his alibi, prosecutors have countered by demanding that the DNA profiles be protected while filing requests about problems with the schedule of Kohberger’s upcoming trial.
Prosecutors will produce a body of evidence related to the alleged crimes, including his DNA, which police say they found in a knife sheath left at the grisly crime scene.
The other key piece of evidence prosecutors are hoping will convince the jury is Kohberger’s white Hyundai Elantra, allegedly spotted in CCTV surveillance footage in the area.
One of the surviving housemates who was not attacked also said she saw the killer and that he had “bushy eyebrows” – another characteristic of Kohberger’s appearance.