Originally scheduled to commence in October, the murder trial of University of Idaho student slaying suspect Brian Kohberger has been delayed. Kohberger renounced his right to a rapid trial during a Wednesday afternoon status conference.
Kohberger, who is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary in the November 13 stabbing deaths of students Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, in their off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho, will face the death penalty, according to prosecutors.
Wednesday, Kohberger repeatedly affirmed to the judge that he wishes to relinquish his right to a trial within six months of his May arraignment.
Anne Taylor, the attorney for Kohberger, stated that the defense team could not effectively present their case on the previously scheduled trial date of October 2 – which is now less than six weeks away. The prosecution did not object, and Judge John Judge agreed to cancel the trial scheduled for October.
At Taylor’s request, the judge did not set a new trial date because the defense was not prepared to do so. Taylor stated that the defense is prepared to contest the grand jury indictment against Kohberger at the September 1 hearing.
Previously, the judge ruled that Kohberger’s defense has until September 8 to present witnesses and other evidence for the accused killer’s alibi if they choose to use it as a defense.
Prosecutors Seek Alibi Details from Kohberger Amidst Murder Investigation
Prosecutors have argued that Kohberger must disclose his exact whereabouts on the night of the murders as well as any witnesses who can substantiate his claim that he was alone and out for a drive.
Mr. Kohberger has a lengthy history of traveling on solo drives. Frequently, he would travel at night. He did so late on November 12 and throughout November 13. The defense has argued that Mr. Kohberger does not claim to have been at a specific location at a specific time.
According to a probable cause affidavit released in January, investigators zeroed in on Kohberger after learning he was the registered owner of a white Hyundai Elantra similar to one seen in surveillance footage near the crime site on the night of the murders.
In response to the affidavit, his appearance matches a description given by a surviving companion, who described his height, weight, and untidy eyebrows.
The document states that Kohberger’s phone records revealed he had been in the vicinity of the victims’ residence at least a dozen times since June, as well as the murder scene between 9:12 and 9:21 a.m. In addition, according to court documents filed by prosecutors, Kohberger’s DNA was a “statistical match” to DNA collected from the scabbard of a knife found at the crime site.