Kohberger stands silent, October trial set in Idaho killings

  • Bryan Kohberger didn't verbalize a plea to charges of murder and burglary
  • The judge entered not-guilty pleas to each count 
  • A trial is scheduled for Oct. 2, but one expert said it could be delayed 

(NewsNation) — Bryan Kohberger, the man accused of killing four University of Idaho students, didn’t verbalize a plea in court Monday, leading a judge to enter not-guilty pleas on charges of murder and burglary in connection with the November stabbings.

Prosecutors now have 60 days to seek the death penalty. The case is scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 2 and could take as many as six weeks to complete.

The renewed plea entry comes after a grand jury indicted 28-year-old Kohberger on four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary. Until Tuesday, Kohberger faced the same charges, but those were filed by prosecutors rather than a grand jury.

The new indictment doesn’t change what Kohberger is charged with, but it does slightly reroute which proceedings happen before trial.

Having secured a grand jury indictment, a previously scheduled preliminary hearing has been canceled. Prosecutors may have been asked to lay out certain information to justify the charges against Kohberger at that time. Instead, they made that case through a private grand jury process and asked to seal the list of witnesses who testified, court records show.

Kohberger was arrested in December in Pennsylvania and later extradited to Idaho, where the killings occurred.

He’s accused in the five-count indictment of entering an off-campus home on Nov. 13 and then stabbing and killing Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin.

Members of the students’ families were present in the courtroom Monday, some wiping away tears throughout the proceeding.

Kohberger is expected to remain in custody at the Latah County Jail in Idaho without bond until the trial. Criminal defense attorney Brian Claypool, who is not connected to Kohberger’s case, said the trial is likely to get pushed back, as is common.

“I think you’re going to see some discovery disputes, evidence not turned over,” Claypool said. “I’d be real surprised if this goes on Oct. 2.”

The judge also scheduled a June 9 hearing date to go over an existing gag order and arguments about allowing cameras in the courtroom.

Idaho College Killings

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