Demolition of Idaho murder house is ‘absurd’: Forensics expert
Forensics expert Joseph Scott Morgan says ‘valuable information’ could have been lost by tearing down the house, possibly helping the suspect.
Latah County District Judge John Judge held off Friday on setting a trial date for Bryan Kohberger, the 29-year-old Pennsylvania criminologist accused of killing four University of Idaho students in a 4 a.m. ambush in November 2022.
The trial had initially been scheduled for October, but Kohberger’s defense waived his right to a speedy trial. Defense lawyers said they expect a trial to last 12 to 15 weeks.
More recently, Latah County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson’s office asked the court to set a summer trial date to avoid interfering with parking at the neighboring high school and to hold proceedings between semesters for the victims’ classmates. The scheduling hearing happened Friday afternoon, shortly after a closed-door session on other matters in the case.
BRYAN KOHBERGER TRIAL: IDAHO PROSECUTORS REQUEST PREFERRED DATES, SCHEDULE
Bryan Kohberger enters the courtroom for a hearing at the Latah County Courthouse on June 27, 2023 in Moscow, Idaho. Kohberger is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November 2022. (August Frank-Pool/Getty Images)
Latah County’s senior deputy prosecuting attorney, Ashley Jennings, filed the four-page request in December.
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A trial with the university out of session would leave more room in hotels for people visiting town for the proceedings, Jennings argued.
The University of Idaho’s academic calendar shows next year’s spring semester ends in the second week of June.
Bill Thompson speaks during Bryan Kohberger’s hearing at the Latah County Courthouse in Moscow, Idaho on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. Kohberger is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November 2022. (August Frank/ Lewiston Tribune)
Jennings also asked the court for shortened days, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT.
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“For a trial of this length, it is appropriate to afford jurors some amount of time to tend to their personal affairs,” the filing reads. “Additionally, having more time in the afternoon allows for better preparation by the parties and allows for reasonable opportunities and time for the Court and counsel to address any motions or other matters that routinely arise during the course of jury trials.”
Jennings also asked District Judge John Judge to set key pretrial deadlines, including for discovery, expert disclosures, witness lists and pretrial motions.
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)
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Kohberger is accused of entering a six-bedroom house on King Road in Moscow, Idaho, around 4 a.m. on Nov. 13, 2022 and killing four students inside.
The victims were Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, both 21; and Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, both 20.
Two others in the house survived, including one who heard crying and saw a masked man with “bushy eyebrows” leave out the back door.
Judge John Judge speaks during Bryan Kohberger’s hearing Friday, Aug. 18, 2023, at the Latah County Courthouse in Moscow. (August Frank/Lewiston Tribune/Pool)
Police found a knife sheath under Mogen’s body that they say had Kohberger’s DNA on it. Authorities also cited phone records and surveillance video showing Kohberger’s white Hyundai Elantra in a probable cause affidavit last year.
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At the time of the murders, Kohberger was studying for a Ph.D. in criminology at Washington State University, just 10 miles from Moscow, Idaho.
Judge Judge entered not guilty pleas on Kohberger’s behalf at his arraignment in May. He could face the death penalty if convicted.
Michael Ruiz is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @mikerreports