Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old criminal justice graduate student accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November, was denied bail in his first appearance in court on Thursday.
A newly unsealed probable cause affidavit describes how police identified Kohberger using DNA evidence at the scene, cell phone records, and his white Hyundai Elantra.
Kohberger was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and felony burglary when he appeared before a Latah County judge in Idaho for an arraignment hearing.
Kohberger remained silent and emotionless throughout the hearing, only saying “yes” to the judge after each charge was read.
When the charges were read in court, the victims’ families sat in the front row, quietly wiping away tears and crying.
“Seeing the defendant for the first time is obviously an emotional time for the family,” said Shannon Gray, an attorney for the Goncalves family. “This is the start of the criminal justice system, and the family is here to stay.”
A status hearing was then scheduled for Jan. 12 at 10 a.m. by the judge.
So far, the Latah County sheriff has heard nothing out of the ordinary regarding Kohberger’s confinement, according to NewsNation.
“We are not going to buy new pots and pans or anything like that,” he said of the jail’s efforts to accommodate Kohberger’s vegan diet restrictions.
The justification used by authorities to obtain a warrant for his arrest was revealed in court records made available Thursday morning.
The 28-year-old doctoral student at Washington State University arrived in Moscow on Wednesday evening after flying from Pennsylvania under armed guard. He was then taken to Moscow’s Latah County Jail.
The release of court documents shed some light on Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson’s reasons for charging Kohberger in the stabbing deaths of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin on Nov. 13, as well as answers key questions about how authorities built a case against him.
Kohberger was apprehended last week at his parents’ home in eastern Pennsylvania and agreed to be extradited to Idaho. His attorney, Jason LaBar, described Kohberger as “an ordinary guy” who was eager to be exonerated. When Kohberger returns to Idaho, he will be represented by the chief public defender in Kootenai County, according to the attorney.
He appeared in court on Tuesday and waived extradition, telling the judge that he isn’t taking any medications that would influence his decision-making. Kohberger nodded to his family, who were sitting in the front row. His mother sobbed while his sister consoled her.
The Moscow Police Department also announced that a Latah County judge issued a gag order in the case, prohibiting law enforcement and attorneys from discussing it.
Meanwhile, Kohberger appears to have remained in Pullman, Washington, until the end of the WSU semester. He then drove across the country with his father to his parents’ home in Pennsylvania. They were traveling in a white Hyundai Elantra.
Kohberger was pulled over twice in Indiana on the same day, first by a Hancock County Sheriff’s deputy and then a few minutes later by an Indiana state trooper.
The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office released body camera video of the first stop on Dec. 15, showing Kohberger behind the wheel and his father in the passenger seat. Both men informed the officer that they were on their way to WSU before the officer sent them on their way with a warning for following too closely.
The second stop was captured on bodycam by the Indiana State Police. According to the agency, there was no information available to the trooper at the time that would have identified Kohberger as a suspect in the killings. Kohberger was warned yet again for following too closely.
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