Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger appears in court and waives the right to a speedy hearing on probable cause



CNN

The man suspected of killing four University of Idaho students appeared in court Thursday for a status conference at which a judge will hold a preliminary hearing on the probable cause of the start of the 26th…

Bryan Kohberger, who is charged with four counts of first-degree murder – in the fatal stabbing of Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20 – appeared in court in an orange prison uniform with his feet bound. The 28-year-old waived his right to a speedy hearing on the probable cause within 14 days, speaking only briefly while answering the judge’s questions.

The public defender representing the suspect asked the judge to allow four or five days for the probable cause hearing this summer, and the judge said she would block the week of June 26 for that matter. The judge also ordered Kohberger to remain in custody without bail.

Kohberger has been being held without bail at the Latah County Jail in Idaho since last week after being extradited from Pennsylvania, where he was arrested late last month. Kohberger, who is also charged with burglary, has yet to file a plea and a court order bars prosecutors and the defense from commenting beyond reference to the public records of the case.

After a night of drinking, the four students were found dead in an off-campus home on Nov. 13, police said, in the college town of Moscow, Idaho, on the Washington state border.

Follow live updates: Bryan Kohberger appears in court

Authorities arrested Kohberger nearly seven weeks later and held him in custody at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania, where an attorney said he was traveling on vacation. And while it took nearly two months for authorities to publicly name a suspect, police — who have faced mounting criticism as investigations outwardly stalled — had weeks earlier begun to focus on Kohberger as a suspect.

Meanwhile, a neighbor of Kohberger’s in nearby Pullman, Washington, told CBS News the suspect asked him about the murders days after the murders and reportedly said, “Yeah, it seems like they don’t have any leads.” Seems to have been a crime of passion.” The neighbor asked not to be identified, CBS reported.

Among the most notable pieces of evidence was a testimony from a surviving roommate of the victims, who told police they saw a man dressed in black in the home on the morning of the killings, according to a probable cause affidavit released last week. The witness described the man as about 5ft 10 or taller and not very muscular but of an athletic build with bushy eyebrows, it said.

Investigators were also drawn to a white sedan seen in local surveillance footage around the home. By November 25, they had directed local law enforcement to be on the lookout for the car, by then identified as the Hyundai Elantra.

Days later, officials at Washington State University, where Kohberger received his doctorate in criminal justice, found one such vehicle and found it to be registered in the name of Kohberger, the affidavit said.

When investigators looked for his driver’s license information, they found it matched the description of the black-clad man given by the roommate, the affidavit said, noting in particular his height, weight and bushy eyebrows.

According to the affidavit, Kohberger received a new number plate for his car five days after the murders. When he was arrested in Pennsylvania last week, a white Elantra was found in his home, according to Monroe County Chief Public Defender Jason LaBar, who represented the suspect at his extradition.

Other evidence listed in the affidavit included phone records showing that Kohberger’s phone had been near the victims’ home at least a dozen times since June. Records also show the phone near the scene of the killing hours later, between 9:12 a.m. and 9:21 a.m., the document said.

In addition, garbage authorities recovered from the Kohberger family home revealed a DNA profile linked to DNA on a tan leather knife sheath found on the bed of one of the victims, the affidavit said. The DNA recovered from the trash is believed to be that of the biological father of the person whose DNA was found on the vagina, it said.

Kohberger was under surveillance for four days prior to his arrest, a law enforcement source told CNN. During that time, he was spotted throwing garbage bags into neighbors’ bins and “cleaning his car inside and out, not missing an inch,” according to the source.

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