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Judge sets murder trial date for Bryan Kohberger, suspect in Moscow college student deaths

The murder trial of Bryan Kohberger, the suspect in the November 2022 Moscow college student homicides, was scheduled Thursday for June 2025. | August Frank, Lewiston Tribune via Associated Press
MOSCOW (Idaho Statesman) — The trial date for Bryan Kohberger, the suspect in the University of Idaho student homicides, is set. But where the trial may be held is still undecided.
Judge John Judge of Idaho’s 2nd Judicial District in Latah County scheduled Kohberger’s murder trial for June next year and planned for a three-month long trial. That timeline could carry the trial into and possibly through August 2025.
“As I look through all of this, there’s going to be a lot of motions, a lot of hearings, a lot of work,” Judge told the court Thursday. “And I tried to balance this out, and I do think it’s a pretty fair balance and I hope realistic.”
Judge said he expected it to take two weeks to seat a jury and eight weeks for the trial.
Kohberger, 29, faces four first-degree murder charges in the stabbing deaths of the U of I students in November 2022. The victims were seniors Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen, both 21, junior Xana Kernodle and freshman Ethan Chapin, both 20.
Sentencing, if Kohberger is convicted, could take up to two weeks, Judge said, including arguments for and against execution. Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty for Kohberger.
Prosecutors and Kohberger’s public defense team offered no objection to Judge’s proposed timeline. The scheduled date met the prosecution’s prior request for a trial over the summer to avoid conflicts with the local high school and the academic calendar for the U of I in Moscow, where the four victims attended college.
Anne Taylor, Kohberger’s lead public defender, called the trial schedule “reasonable,” but noted she had yet to present evidence over her push to move the trial out of Latah County over concerns of local juror bias against her client. The prosecution opposes moving the trial elsewhere in the state, and a hearing over the issue is scheduled for Aug. 29.
The hearing Thursday, which Kohberger attended wearing a navy blue suit and tie, lasted less than 15 minutes. Seated next to Taylor, he stood up at its conclusion, was directed by a bailiff, and shuffled out of sight of the court’s live webstream wearing shackles around his ankles.
At the time of the homicides, Kohberger was a graduate student at Washington State University in nearby Pullman, Washington. He was arrested about seven weeks after the homicides in December 2022 while visiting his parents in eastern Pennsylvania during winter break from school.

From left, Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin were killed in a November 2022 attack at an off-campus house on King Road in Moscow near the University of Idaho. | CBS 48 Hours
Kohberger has remained in the Latah County Jail beneath the courthouse — now at 18 months and counting — since arriving to Idaho in early January 2023 to answer to the charges. The costs of the case to taxpayers over that time have already surpassed $3.6 million, the Idaho Statesman previously reported.
Kohberger was arraigned in May 2023 and stood silent when asked for his plea to the charges, which also includes one felony burglary count. Judge entered a plea of not guilty on Kohberger’s behalf and set a trial date of October 2023. Until Thursday, that initial date was indefinitely postponed after Kohberger later waived his right to a speedy trial within six months of his arraignment.
“We’re about 13 months from the arraignment, and I think at this point — this is my opinion — that we’re getting the point of diminishing returns,” Judge said Thursday. He then proposed June 2025 for the high-profile murder trial.
The parents of Kaylee Goncalves have been some of the biggest proponents of getting a trial date scheduled, and have criticized the perceived slow pace of hearings up to this point.
“As long as the court continues to entertain anything and everything at every hearing, the delay will never end,” the Goncalves family said in a May statement. “The victims’ families want justice, but just as importantly, we want the case to move forward. Every hearing is painful to watch with an endless lack of organization and accountability.”
If Kohberger is convicted, the jury would have to reach a unanimous decision to sentence him to death, per Idaho law.
The post Judge sets murder trial date for Bryan Kohberger, suspect in Moscow college student deaths appeared first on East Idaho News.

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