Idaho students murder suspect Bryan Kohberger to appear in court

By Aditi Sangal and Matt Meyer, CNN

Updated 3:25 p.m. ET, January 12, 2023
6 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
11:31 a.m. ET, January 12, 2023

Bryan Kohberger appears in court, and his next hearing is set for June 26

From CNN’s Josh Campbell in Moscow, Idaho

Bryan Kohberger makes a court appearance on January 12.
Bryan Kohberger makes a court appearance on January 12. (Pool)

A preliminary hearing for suspect Bryan Kohberger has been set to begin June 26 at 9 a.m. in Moscow, Idaho. A judge set the date after Kohberger waived his right to a speedy probable cause hearing within 14 days days. 

The public defender representing Kohberger requested the judge allow four or five days for the hearing, and no objection from the district attorney was lodged. The judge said she was blocking the week of June 26 for the matter. 

Kohberger was present in court Thursday, wearing an orange prisoner uniform, with his feet shackled. He spoke only briefly while answering the judge’s questions about his acknowledgment that he was waiving his right to a speedy hearing.

The judge ordered he remain remanded in state custody with no bond ahead of the June 26 hearing. 

11:18 a.m. ET, January 12, 2023

Here's a timeline of key events related to the killings of the University of Idaho students

From CNN's Eric Levenson

Here's a timeline of some of the major developments in the killing of four University of Idaho students and the arrest of a suspect in the case:

Nov. 12: Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were students at the University of Idaho who lived at a nearby off-campus residence in Moscow, a college town of about 25,000 people. They had two other roommates at the three-floor, six-bedroom apartment. That night, Chapin and Kernodle went to a party on campus, and Mogen and Goncalves went to a downtown bar, police said.

Nov. 13: Mogen and Goncalves ordered at a late-night food truck at about 1:41 a.m., the food truck’s live Twitch stream shows. As they waited for their food, they could be seen chatting with each other and with other people standing by the truck. The two students did not seem to be in distress or in danger in any way, said Joseph Woodall, 26, who manages the truck.

Chapin and Kernodle are believed to have returned home around 1:45 a.m., and Goncalves and Mogen used a private party for a ride home at about 1:56 a.m., according to police.

Two other roommates at the home who were not injured woke up later in the morning and summoned friends to the home because they believed one of the victims had passed out and was not waking up. A call to 911 was made just before noon about an unconscious person at the residence, police said.

Arriving officers found the door to the residence open and discovered the bodies of four fatally stabbed students.

There was no sign of forced entry or damage, police said.

Nov. 15: Moscow Police issued a statement saying an “edged weapon such as a knife” was used in the killings. No suspects were in custody and no murder weapon had been found, police said.

Nov. 16: Police Chief James Fry held a news conference – the department’s first in the case – and reiterated there was no suspect. He also noted that the two other roommates who were home at the time of the attack were uninjured. The chief said authorities are not focusing on them. "We’re focusing on everybody that may be coming and going from that residence."

Nov. 18: Detectives by then had conducted 38 interviews with people “who may have information” about the killings and had taken the contents of three dumpsters near the house in case they held evidence, they said. Investigators also asked local businesses if there had been any recent purchases of a “fixed-blade knife,” according to the police update.

Hoping for tips from the community, investigators released a map and timeline of the victims’ movements last weekend. The map shows the four students spent most of the night separated in pairs.

Nov. 20: Police had fielded 646 tips and conducted more than 90 interviews, Chief Fry said at a news conference. He declined to identify who placed the 911 call from the home where the students were slain, saying only the call came from the phone of one of the surviving roommates. He wouldn’t confirm which one placed the call, but said that the caller is not a suspect.

Nov. 30: Moscow Police release a list of people who they believe are not involved in the crime, including the two surviving roommates, a man in the Grub Truck surveillance video, the private party driver who took Goncalves and Mogen home, the man Goncalves and Mogen called numerous times the night they were killed and any person at the home when 911 was called. Police believe the attack was indeed “targeted,” but investigators have not concluded if the target was the residence or its occupants.

Dec. 5: Regarding Goncalves’ possibly having a stalker, police said investigators identified an incident in October in which two men were seen at a business and one man appeared to follow Goncalves inside and as she exited to her car. The man did not make contact with her.

Investigators contacted both men and learned they were trying to meet women at this business. Detectives said they believe this was an isolated incident and not a pattern of stalking and said there was no evidence to suggest the men were involved in the killings.

Dec. 7: Investigators say they are interested in speaking with the occupant or occupants of a white 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra spotted near the crime scene around the time of the killings.

Dec. 30: Suspect Bryan Kohberger was taken into custody. The arrest was made by Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Jan. 3: In an extradition hearing in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, Kohberger agreed to be extradited to Idaho. The judge ordered that he must be handed over to the custody of Latah County District Attorney’s Office in Idaho within 10 days.

Jan. 5: Kohberger made his initial appearance in court at the Latah County Courthouse in Moscow, Idaho on January 5.

CNN’s Veronica Miracle, Jason Kravarik, Ray Sanchez, Andi Babineau, Caroll Alvarado and Sharif Paget contributed to this report.

11:00 a.m. ET, January 12, 2023

As classes resume this week at University of Idaho, students remain anxious about November killings

From CNN's Elizabeth Wolfe

University of Idaho students returned to campus on January 11 in Moscow, Idaho. 
University of Idaho students returned to campus on January 11 in Moscow, Idaho.  (KING)

Classes resumed Wednesday at the University of Idaho. Nearly seven weeks passed without an arrest in the gruesome stabbing deaths of four students in November, leaving the tight-knit community wracked with unease and uncertainty. Many students had abandoned the campus amid anxiety.

The arrest of a suspect over winter break, however, has alleviated many students’ fears, allowing them to walk into classrooms Wednesday with more confidence in their safety. Still, the community’s long-held sense of security has been irrevocably shattered, some university members say.

“It definitely seems like a different place,” sophomore Shua Mulder told CNN affiliate KXLY. “I’m hanging out with some more people. Definitely staying in groups.”

Sophomore Ryder Paslay was watching the news with his family when he learned of Bryan Kohberger’s arrest. “I breathed a sigh of relief and I’m pretty sure my mom did the same thing,” he told KXLY.

The university's response: The university significantly heightened security measures and gave students the option to leave campus and complete the semester remotely.

Though some security measures implemented after the killings will be scaled down this semester, campus security will remain heightened, the university’s provost and executive vice president Torrey Lawrence told CNN last week. While students still have the option to attend remotely, he said most have returned to campus.

Even so, he said, the “very peaceful, safe community” has experienced a “loss of innocence” in the tragedy’s wake.

“I don’t know if it will ever feel the same,” sophomore Paige Palzinski told KXLY, “But I think just being conscious of knowing what’s happened and having more protections in place has been huge.”

CNN’s John Miller, Elizabeth Joseph and Dakin Andone contributed to this report.

10:36 a.m. ET, January 12, 2023

These were the 4 University of Idaho victims

From CNN's Christina Zdanowicz, Sara Smart and Eric Levenson,

Clockwise from bottom left: Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle
Clockwise from bottom left: Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle (From Kaylee Goncalves/Instagram)

Four University of Idaho students, who also shared an off-campus house, were killed in November.

The university identified the four students killed as Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho, Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Arizona, and Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Here's what we know about them.

Xana Kernodle was a positive, funny woman, her sister Jazzmin said. “She made me such a proud big sister, and I wish I could have had more time with her. She had so much life left to live.”

Kernodle was a junior studying marketing and was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority, the university said.

Ethan Chapin was a kind and loyal person, his mother Stacy Chapin said in a statement. “It breaks my heart to know we will never be able to hug or laugh with Ethan again, but it’s also excruciating to think about the horrific way he was taken from us.”

Chapin was one of a set of triplets, who enrolled at the University of Idaho, the family said in a statement. He was a freshman majoring in recreation, sport and tourism management and a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, the university said.

Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen

Kaylee Goncalves’ older sister, Alivea Goncalves, sent a statement to the Idaho Statesman on behalf of her family and Madison Mogen’s family.

“They were smart, they were vigilant, they were careful, and this all still happened,” she said.

Goncalves was a senior majoring in general studies and a member of the Alpha Phi sorority, according to the university.

Mogen, also a senior, was studying marketing and was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, the university said.

10:14 a.m. ET, January 12, 2023

Here's how police identified Bryan Kohberger in the Idaho student murders case

From CNN's Dakin Adakone

Police tape surrounds the residence where four University of Idaho students were killed as Moscow Police monitor the scene in Moscow, Idaho, on November 30, 2022. 
Police tape surrounds the residence where four University of Idaho students were killed as Moscow Police monitor the scene in Moscow, Idaho, on November 30, 2022.  (Lindsey Wasson/Reuters/File)

Authorities arrested Bryan Kohberger almost seven weeks after four University of Idaho students were killed, taking him into custody at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania, where an attorney said he had traveled for the holidays.

While it took almost two months for authorities to publicly name a suspect, police – who faced mounting criticism while the investigation outwardly appeared at a standstill – had begun focusing on Kohberger as a suspect weeks earlier.

Among the most notable pieces of evidence was a witness account from one of the victims’ surviving roommates, who told police she saw a man dressed in black inside the house the morning of the killings, according to a probable cause affidavit released last week. The witness described the man as about 5-foot-10 or taller and not very muscular but athletically built with bushy eyebrows, it said.

Investigators were also drawn to a white sedan seen in local surveillance footage in the area around the home. By November 25, they had told local law enforcement to look out for the car, by then identified as a Hyundai Elantra.

Days later, officers at Washington State University, where Kohberger was a PhD student in criminal justice, found such a vehicle and discovered it was registered to Kohberger, the affidavit says.

When investigators searched for his driver’s license information, they found it consistent with the description of the man dressed in black provided by the roommate, the affidavit says, specifically noting his height, weight and bushy eyebrows.

Kohberger got a new license plate for his car five days after the killings, the affidavit says. When he was arrested in Pennsylvania last week, a white Elantra was found at his home, according to Monroe County Chief Public Defender Jason LaBar, who represented the suspect in his extradition.

Other evidence listed in the affidavit included phone records showing Kohberger’s phone had been near the victims’ home at least a dozen times since June. Records also show the phone near the site of the killings hours later, between 9:12 a.m. and 9:21 a.m., the document says.

Additionally, trash authorities recovered from Kohberger’s family home revealed a DNA profile linked to DNA on a tan leather knife sheath found lying on the bed of one of the victims, the affidavit said. The DNA recovered from the trash is believed to be that of the biological father of the person whose DNA was found on the sheath, it said.

Kohberger was also surveilled for four days before his arrest, a law enforcement source told CNN. During that time, he was seen putting trash bags in neighbors’ garbage bins and “cleaned his car, inside and outside, not missing an inch,” according to the source.

A court order prohibits the prosecution and defense from commenting beyond referencing the public records of the case.

10:12 a.m. ET, January 12, 2023

Idaho killings suspect is expected back in court today

From CNN's Dakin Adakone

Bryan Kohberger, right, is escorted into a courtroom for a hearing in Latah County District Court on January 5 in Moscow, Idaho.
Bryan Kohberger, right, is escorted into a courtroom for a hearing in Latah County District Court on January 5 in Moscow, Idaho. (Ted S. Warren/Pool/AP/File)

The man suspected of killing four University of Idaho students is scheduled to appear in court for a status conference Thursday – his second time in an Idaho court since his extradition from Pennsylvania after his arrest late last month.

Bryan Kohberger, 28, is being held without bail in the Latah County jail in Idaho, where he faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary in the fatal stabbings of Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20.

After a night out, the four undergrads were found dead Nov. 13 in an off-campus home, according to police, fraying nerves in the college town of Moscow, Idaho, along the Washington state border.