(NewsNation) — Arguments over a gag order in the criminal case against Bryan Kohberger, the man charged with killing four Idaho college students, could be argued in court next month.
Thirty news organizations including the Associated Press sought to appeal or change the gag order in February. Those efforts ultimately failed to eliminate the order, but news outlets will have another chance to make their case in a matter of weeks.
A judge on Monday scheduled a June 9 court date to address the most recent motion to vacate the standing gag order. An attorney representing the family of one of the victims, Kaylee Goncalves, also filed an opposition to the court order.
“We are thankful that the Latah County District Attorneys Office finally took the case to a (grand jury) and came back with an indictment,” Goncalves family said in a statement Monday. “At the same time, we are disappointed that the judicial process has not been more efficient in addressing the gag order.”
The case garnered widespread publicity in November when police were called to an off-campus home and discovered the bodies of four University of Idaho students – Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle.
Officers arrested Kohberger in January at a Pennsylvania home. He was recently indicted by a grand jury on charges of first-degree murder and burglary in connection with the stabbing deaths.
Also in January, Latah County Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall issued the sweeping gag order, barring attorneys, law enforcement agencies and others associated with the case from talking or writing about it. The coalition of news organizations has said the order violates the right to free speech by prohibiting it from happening in the first place.
Kohberger and the prosecution, however, have asked to keep in the gag order intact.
The judge must balance the public’s access to information about the case with both parties’ right to a fair trial.
Courts sometimes feel that controlling the flow of information around the case — by forbidding those involved from talking about it — is an effective way to limit publicity.
On Monday, Kohberger chose not to enter a plea on any of the five counts filed against him. The decision, referred to as “standing silent” resulted in a default not-guilty pleas while the case is pending.
Kohberger is scheduled for a four- to six-week trial starting Oct. 2.
NewsNation Senior National Correspondent Brian Entin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.