Kohberger team questioning charges in Idaho college student murders
Fox Nation host Nancy Grace on the latest defense tactics in the murder trial of Bryan Kohberger.
EXCLUSIVE: Bryan Kohberger, the former criminology Ph.D. student accused of fatally stabbing four University of Idaho undergrads in a home invasion, may be getting much better treatment in jail than other inmates, according to the father of one of the victims.
Kohberger has been held without bail at the Latah County Jail in Moscow, Idaho, since January.
“I’ve been informed that his pretrial privileges, like his five suits, video and computer special treatment and vegan meals are unprecedented in the history of Idaho,” Kaylee Goncalves’ father, Steve Goncalves, told Fox News Digital.
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Left: A stock image shows a bowl of vegan rice and beans. Right: Bryan Kohberger smiles as he enters court for a hearing in Moscow, Idaho. (iStock; August Frank/Lewiston Tribune)
Shortly after Kohberger’s arrival in Idaho, Latah County Sheriff Richard Skiles told News Nation the jail would accommodate Kohberger’s request for vegan meals, typically vegetables or rice and beans, “but we are not going to buy new pots and pans.”
The sheriff did not respond to a request for comment.
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After the suspected killer’s initial court appearances in an orange jail jumpsuit, he began showing up dressed in a suit and tie.
Goncalves said he tried to find out who paid for the suits and get other information about the defense budget through a public records request, but it was denied under a gag order on the case.
“They won’t tell us,” he said. “But I witnessed the moment they agreed not to handcuff him in court.”
Bryan Kohberger, left, pictured after his Dec. 30 arrest in Pennsylvania. He is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in a 4 a.m. surprise attack at their off-campus rental home, including best friends Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, right. (The Image Direct for Fox News Digital, Kaylee Goncalves/Instagram)
His daughter, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, was found dead alongside her lifelong best friend and housemate Madison Mogen, also 21, in the latter’s third-floor bedroom at their rental house on King Road, just steps off the college campus. On the second floor, police found their housemate, Xana Kernodle, and her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, both 20. All four had been stabbed to death, according to the county coroner.
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University of Idaho victim Kaylee Goncalves with her dad, Steve Goncalves. (Instagram)
Two other occupants were not attacked, including one who told police she saw a masked man leaving through the rear sliding door, according to a December probable cause affidavit. The affidavit remains the most detailed account of the allegations against the suspect nine months later following the gag order.
Even before the gag order, authorities were tight-lipped about the investigation, and Kohberger’s defense attorney, Kootenai County Public Defender Anne Taylor, declined to answer questions from Fox News Digital.
Now, both sides are seeking to have news cameras removed from the courtroom.
Madison Mogen, top left, smiles on the shoulders of her best friend, Kaylee Goncalves, as they pose with Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle and two other housemates in Goncalves’ final Instagram post shared the day before the four students were stabbed to death. (@kayleegoncalves/Instagram)
“Regrettably, it seems that the judge and prosecutor are overly concerned with accommodating the defense, leaving us, the advocates for our children, with no choice but to step forward,” Goncalves said.
Kohberger’s defense and Latah County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson have both asked Judge John Judge to bar cameras from future proceedings. The court heard arguments on the issue Wednesday and said he would make a decision at a later date.
A media group led by The Associated Press is opposing the measure, and outside experts say the arguments from both Kohberger and the prosecutor’s office may be unfounded.
Bryan Kohberger, 28, pictured in a January booking photo taken at the Latah County Jail in Moscow, Idaho. He is accused of killing Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen. (Latah County Sheriff’s Office)
“Just because both sides want to hide the proceedings from the public doesn’t mean the judge has to go along with the request,” said Royal Oakes, a Los Angeles media attorney who in the 1990s successfully convinced a court to allow the O.J. Simpson murder trial to be televised.
“The public is entitled to see the judicial system at work. As they say, sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
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Kohberger is facing four charges of first-degree murder and another of felony burglary. He could face the death penalty if convicted.
A judge entered not guilty pleas on his behalf at his arraignment in May. A trial originally scheduled to begin in October has been postponed.
Michael Ruiz is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @mikerreports