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Idaho Stabbings Suspect Indicted, Avoids Public Preliminary Hearing Ahead Of Trial

Bryan Kohberger sits with his attorney during a hearing in Latah County District Court on Jan. 5 in Moscow, Idaho.
Bryan Kohberger sits with his attorney during a hearing in Latah County District Court on Jan. 5 in Moscow, Idaho.

Bryan Kohberger sits with his attorney during a hearing in Latah County District Court on Jan. 5 in Moscow, Idaho.

A grand jury has indicted Bryan Kohberger on four counts of premeditated murder and one count of burglary in the Nov. 13, 2022, killings of four University of Idaho students in Moscow, Idaho, according to court documents released Wednesday.

Kohberger, 28, is accused of fatally stabbing Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20, the indictment said. Three of the victims were roommates at an off-campus house, while Chapin was spending the night there with Kernodle, his girlfriend, when they were killed.

Kohberger, who was then a Ph.D. student in criminology at Washington State University, lived near his school’s campus in Pullman, Washington, less than 10 miles from the house in Moscow. It remains unknown if he had any previous contact with the victims. He was arrested at his parents’ Pennsylvania home on Dec. 30, 2022.

In a probable cause affidavit, police said they found Kohberger’s DNA on a knife sheath on a bed next to one of the victims. His white Hyundai Elantra was captured on multiple surveillance cameras in the Moscow area between 3:29 a.m. and 4:20 a.m. when it sped away, according to police.

Authorities said that one of two other roommates who were not attacked came face to face with the killer during the incident, describing the person as an athletically built man with bushy eyebrows above the mask that was covering much of his face. A latent shoe print was later discovered outside her bedroom door that police said confirmed her account.

Any other evidence supporting the charges has not been released to the public. Since last year, speculation about the killings has run rampant, with national media descending on the small town of Moscow and theories about the case going viral on social media.

A preliminary hearing, in which prosecutors present evidence and call witnesses in open court, had been scheduled for June so a judge could determine whether the case would proceed. With the new indictment, that preliminary hearing has been canceled, and further details on the investigation may not be made public until a trial.

Kohberger is scheduled to be arraigned Monday at a courthouse in Moscow, a likely brief hearing that will be open to the public.

No livestreaming from the courtroom is permitted under a court order, although the judge has allowed for the proceedings to otherwise be filmed and photographed.

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