Man Accused of University of Idaho Quadruple Murder Stays Silent; Plea Entered By Judge

The man accused of murdering four University of Idaho students was arraigned in court on Monday.

Bryan Kohberger was indicted by a grand jury last week on four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary in the stabbing deaths of Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin.

The killings occurred in the early hours of November 13, 2022, at a home in Moscow, Idaho, just off the University of Idaho’s campus. The 28-year-old was a criminology graduate student at the nearby University of Washington.

During his arraignment Monday morning, Kohberger remained silent throughout the hearing. Judge John Judge entered a “not guilty” plea on his behalf. The trial has now been set for October 2, 2023, and is expected to last six weeks. The maximum penalty for this case has been set for either life in prison or death.

If the prosecution plans on asking for the death penalty in this case, they must do so within 60 days.

The Case Against Bryan Kohberger

Kohberger has been in police custody since late December following a cross-country manhunt that ended at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania.

An affidavit released in January detailed the search for Kohberger, including information on his car and a detailed physical description from a witness who survived the attack.

Investigators have since seized the car, a white 2015 Hyundai Elantra, as well as knives, a cell phone, laptops, black gloves, a black mask, dark shoes, and dark clothing from Kohberger’s home. GPS and other data have also been collected from the car, cell phone, and laptop.

Little more is known about the case due to the gag order surrounding information. The order was first put in place by Latah County Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall in January, shortly after Kohberger’s arrest. Within two weeks, Marshall expanded the order to apply not just to the prosecution and defense but to witnesses, attorneys for witnesses, and victims’ families from saying anything beyond what’s stated in court filings.

The gag order restricts attorneys, prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, and others connected to the case – including victims’ families – from speaking to the press.

Gag Order To Be Reviewed May 25

In April, 30 news organizations petitioned the Idaho Supreme Court to lift the gag order. However, the court decided not to weigh in, wanting the organizations to take the issue up with lower courts instead.

Justice Gregory Moeller wrote in the decision that the state’s Supreme Court has “long respected the media’s role in our constitutional republic and honored the promises in both the Idaho Constitution and First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” However, he believes the court has a “responsibility to balance the Sixth Amendments rights of the accused with the First Amendment interests of the media” in the internet and social media age.

News agencies aren’t the only ones trying to get the gag order lifted. The attorney for the family of Kaylee Goncalves, Shanon Gray, filed a challenge to the order with the 2nd judicial court. He contends the order’s extension to include victims’ families’ attorneys is “overbroad and vague.”

The hearing for Gray’s appeal is at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 25.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Nicole Tommasulo is Boston-based and Buffalo-born writer and editor. Typically covering all things lifestyle, her beat spans from food, to breaking news, to travel, mental health, and everything in between. She has an MFA in Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design and has been previously published by The List, Heels Down Magazine, Hello Giggles, and several now-dead but not forgotten websites like xoJane and Femsplain. When she's not writing or editing, she's nerding out over books, prestige TV, plants, food, and frisbee golf.