Bryan Kohberger, the primary suspect in the murder of four University of Idaho students, appeared in court Thursday morning for a status conference, and his next court date, a preliminary hearing, has been set for June 26.
The upcoming preliminary hearing, when both sides will have the chance to provide evidence and call witnesses to the stand, will last about five days and decide whether there is reasonable cause to believe that the Kohberger committed a crime.
In court, Kohberger, 28, waived his right to a speedy probable cause hearing within 14 days. A public defender representing Kohberger, Anne Taylor, said that they needed time to review the details for the case. Kohberger only spoke in the courtroom to answer the Latah County Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall’s yes-or-no questions.
The Washington State University criminology student is being charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary.
Victims Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were all found stabbed to death in an off-campus townhouse in Moscow, Idaho, on Nov. 13. The murders shocked a town that hadn’t had one in several years.
Kohberger is currently being held without bond at Latah County Jail in Idaho after being arrested on Dec. 30 in Albrightsville, Pa. Kohberger was extradited from Pennsylvania to Idaho on Jan. 4.
Investigators spent weeks searching for a suspect in the case, gathering nearly 20,000 tips from the community and beyond during that time. An affidavit released last week outlined how police said they narrowed in on Kohberger as a suspect.
Local law enforcement reviewed tapes of the neighborhood around the victims’ home after the murders, discovering that a white Hyundai Elantra circulated around the home of the victims at least three times on the day of the murders. Police eventually found a white Elantra was registered to Kohberger. One of the surviving roommates in the home also told authorities Kohberger matched the description of the man she saw in their home that night.
Phone records placed Kohberger in Moscow at 4:48 a.m, according to the affidavit. The murders are believed to have occurred around 4 a.m. on Nov. 13, according to authorities.
At the crime scene, investigators also found a knife sheath with DNA belonging to the perpetrator. Authorities later obtained DNA from the garbage outside Kohberger’s home and concluded that the DNA collected belonged to the father of the person whose DNA had been left on the knife sheath, according to the affidavit.
Investigators have yet to identify a motive in the case.
Public defender Jason LaBar previously said Kohberger was surprised by his arrest, and “looks forward to being exonerated.” He denies any involvement in the murder, but has not entered a plea yet.
The court previously issued a nondissemination order preventing attorneys, investigators and others from commenting on the case.
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