Kohberger ‘eager to be exonerated’ of Idaho stabbing charges

Idaho College Killings

(NewsNation) — Bryan Kohberger, accused of fatally stabbing four University of Idaho students, will not fight his extradition back to Idaho, according to his public defender, who also said Kohberger is “eager to be exonerated of these charges.”

“Mr. Kohberger has been accused of very serious crimes, but the American justice system cloaks him in a veil of innocence,” Jason LaBar, the chief public defender for Monroe County, Pennsylvania, said in a statement. “He should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise — not tried in the court of public opinion.”

Latah County, Idaho, prosecutor Bill Thompson said the factual basis for Kohberger’s charges is laid out in the probable cause affidavit, which under state law must remain sealed until Kohberger is extradited to Latah County and officially served the warrant.

Sources confirmed to NewsNation that Kohberger was on suicide watch in the Pennsylvania jail where he was being held and had asked officers at one point whether anyone else was arrested. Sources said Kohberger had a “quiet, blank stare” throughout the process.

Kohberger was getting his Ph.D. in criminal justice at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, which is about a 15-minute drive from Moscow, where the killings happened.

Before moving to Washington, he grew up and studied in Pennsylvania, where he got his bachelor’s degree in psychology at DeSales University in 2020, followed by a master’s degree from its criminal justice program. A spokeswoman for the school said they are devastated by the senseless tragedy.

One of the professors who reportedly taught Kohberger at DeSales is a world-renowned professor of forensic psychology. Katherine Ramsland has appeared in more than 200 crime documentaries and written almost 70 books, including “The Psychology of Death Investigations” and “The Mind of a murderer,” and she even worked with the BTK serial killer, Dennis Radder, on his autobiography, according to the university website.

“(H)ave I come face to face with psychopaths? Absolutely.” Ramsland said on the “Coptales and Cocktails” podcast in April.

Lehigh Valley News said Ramsland confirmed to them that Kohberger was a student of hers. She told NewsNation, “I cannot make media statements about him at this time.”

NewsNation has obtained this photo of Kohberger taken during a group project at DeSales University in 2019.

Students who studied with him told NewsNation they’ve been told to talk only to police because they could potentially be called as character witnesses in the case. They did say he was “controlling” during the project.

Kohberger had no recorded criminal history. His court date is set for Tuesday in Monroe County. If he does follow through and waive his extradition hearing, he will likely be on his way to Idaho sometime next week.

Moscow Police Chief James Fry said Friday during a news conference that his department had combed through 19,000 tips and interviewed 300 people over the course of their investigation. Investigators have not released any official information about the suspect’s motive or connection to the victims, and as of Friday, the murder weapon had not been located, according to Moscow police.

The four university students found dead on Nov. 13 were 21-year-old Kaylee Goncalves; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and 20-year-old Ethan Chapin.

© 1998 - 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation