Idaho Murders Suspect Bryan Kohberger Appears Stony-Faced in Court
Accused quadruple killer Bryan Christopher Kohberger will soon return to Idaho, where he will face charges of stabbing four college students while they were asleep.
In a brief trial in Pennsylvania on Tuesday afternoon, 28-year-old Kohberger formally waives the right to an extradition hearing. Simply put, he will not dispute that he is who the authorities say he is, and agrees to return to Idaho to face murder charges against him.
About five minutes before the 3:30 p.m. hearing was scheduled to begin, a group of court staff led the chained, expressionless Kohberger, wearing a red prison uniform and looking straight ahead, from the private holding area and down the hallway into the courtroom. Cameras and phones are allowed in the building but not in the courtroom.
Idaho—the the so-called demand state in this situation—now has 10 days to collect their suspect from Pennsylvania, according to public attorney Jason LaBar, who is representing Kohberger in the extradition process. However, he has said that he believes the transfer will happen much faster, maybe in just 72 hours.
Professor Joseph Giacalone, a former NYPD detective sergeant who now teaches at New York City’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said there are real reasons why Pennsylvania wants Kohberger gone as soon as possible.
“Pennsylvania didn’t want this guy on their land for another minute — if they could get him on the plane last night back to Idaho, they would,” Giacalone told The Daily Beast. “If he leaves me [while in custody in Pennsylvania] or something, they’re in big trouble. Now remember, they have to watch this guy 24 hours a day, and I mean, really follow him. This case has made international news. You can’t have a Jeffrey Epstein happening.”
Kohberger, a first-year doctoral student and teaching assistant in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University, whose campus is about 10 miles from the rental home, where police said Kohberger killed both Idaho college students, Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen. 21 years old, Xana Kernodle and boyfriend Ethan Chapin, both 20 years old.
The shocking murder happened in the early morning hours of November 13, in a small rural town in Moscow, Idaho. It is unclear if any of the four knew or were acquainted with Kohberger, who was arrested on December 30 at his parents’ home in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, about 2,500 miles from the crime scene. Kohberger made the cross-country trip with his father, driving the white Hyundai Elantra seen in surveillance video released by Idaho police following the gruesome murder. The The FBI is said to have tracked Kohberger’s movements for several days before his fear.
Once returned to Idaho, Kohberger will face four counts of first-degree murder and aggravated burglary. An affidavit of probable cause, which is expected to reveal more information about what led police to Kohberger, will be sealed until Kohberger appears in a courtroom in Idaho, as required by state law. Meanwhile, law enforcement sources have said that DNA evidence found at murder scene is crucial in tracing Kohberger. Investigator also do a nationwide search for a white Hyundai Elantra found near the murder house, compiled a list of 22,000 possible matches before finally narrowing it down to Kohberger’s vehicle.
Police have yet to recover the knife used in the murders, which they say was a “fixed-blade” type. Kohberger will enlist a new court-appointed attorney in Idaho, according to LaBar, the person said. told local NBC affiliate KHQ that the family has so far been unable to hire its own attorney.
“Given the situation, with the allegations, no attorneys have been in contact with them and they are not anticipating hiring one,” he said, describing Kohberger as “shocked” by the allegations against him. .
LaBar is said to have requested a psychiatric evaluation for Kohberger, a friend incarcerated at the Monroe County Jail in Pennsylvania. reported taunting and cursing guards for not revealing himself to staff and other inmates. However, LaBar described Kohberger as “aware of the situation” and “certainly mentally stable.”
Kohberger earlier this year received a master’s degree in criminal justice from DeSales University, a Catholic school in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. While there, he studied with the famous forensic psychologist Katherine Ramslandauthor of criminological texts such as How to catch a killer, Psychology of death investigationand Mind of a killer. (Ramsland has declined to comment on Kohberger’s arrest so far.)
Another Kohberger professor at DeSales, criminologist Katherine Bolger, recently described the suspect as a “excellent” students.
However, like Giacalone previously told The Daily Beastnoting investigators using DNA to identify Kohberger, “If someone like this were really a criminal justice and criminology student, he would understand something like Locard’s Principle of Exchange,” claiming that “every contact leaves a trace.”
In an appearance on Tuesday morning on Today shows that, just hours before Kohberger’s trial, LaBar said the young man’s family had not yet fully processed the situation. “They don’t believe it’s Bryan, they can’t believe this, they’re obviously shocked. ‘ he said, claiming that they believed the alleged crimes were “totally out of character” for him.
Kohberger believes he will be “vindicated” of the charges, according to LaBar. In a statement released on Christmas Eve, LaBar said that although his client has been charged “very serious crimes,” he said, “should be presumed innocent until proven to the contrary—not tried before a court of public opinion.”