Idaho College Murder Suspect Agrees to Extradition

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
January 3, 2023USshare

Bryan Kohberger, the man suspected of killing four University of Idaho students in November, appeared in a Pennsylvania court on Tuesday where he agreed to be extradited to Idaho without an extradition hearing.

Kohberger, a 28-year-old doctoral student and teaching assistant at Washington State University, had been arrested by state police at his parents’ home in eastern Pennsylvania on Friday. Kohberger faces first-degree murder charges in Idaho for the Nov. 13 killings of University of Idaho students Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20.

Kohberger appeared in a Monroe County courtroom on Tuesday afternoon, where he waived his right to an extradition hearing. Since his arrest, public defender Jason LaBar said Kohberger had planned to waive his right to an extradition hearing so that he can be quickly brought back to Idaho to face the charges.

Kohberger should be presumed innocent and “not tried in the court of public opinion,” LaBar said.

On Saturday, Capt. Anthony Dahlinger, of the Moscow Police Department in Idaho, said investigators had obtained DNA evidence from Kohberger and believe he is responsible for all four killings. Goncalves, Mogen, Kernodle, and Chapin were all stabbed to death at a rental home near campus in Moscow, Idaho, early in the morning on Nov. 13.

“We believe we’ve got our man,” said Dahlinger.

Prosecutors in Latah County, Idaho, have said they believe Kohberger broke into the students’ home intending to commit murder.

An official who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Associated Press that investigators are still looking for a murder weapon and a motive for the killings.

The official said federal and state investigators are looking through Kohberger’s background, financial records, and electronic communications as they work to build the case against him. Investigators are also reaching out to people who knew Kohberger, including his classmates at Washington State University.

Kohberger Denies Having Mental Illness

During the Tuesday court appearance, a judge asked Kohberger if he suffered from any mental illnesses or is on medication for any such diagnoses. According to CBS News correspondent Nikki Battiste, Kohberger told the judge that he did not have any such diagnoses and was not on any such medications.

The judge asked Kohberger about his mental state to ensure that he was in a clear mental state when he made his decision to waive the extradition hearing.

Suspect Awaits Transportation to Idaho

Following the court appearance, Kohberger was escorted out of the court and is now awaiting transportation to Idaho.

The judge ordered Kohberger’s extradition to Idaho to take place within 10 days, Newsweek reported.

NBC reporter Brian Sheehan shared a video of Kohberger being escorted out of the court and being placed into a Monroe County Sheriff’s van.

Latah County prosecutors have said the affidavit for four charges of first-degree murder will remain sealed until Kohberger is returned to Idaho. Kohberger is also charged with felony burglary.

Kohberger’s Family Express Sympathy for Victims But Vow to Support Suspect

Kohberger’s family members have expressed sympathy for the victims of the Nov. 13 killings, but have vowed to support Kohberger’s presumption of innocence.

Kohberger’s parents, Michael and Maryann, and his two older sisters, Amanda and Melissa, said in a statement released by his attorney on Sunday that they “care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children. There are no words that can adequately express the sadness we feel, and we pray each day for them.”

Their statement went on to say that “as a family we will love and support our son and brother.” The family said they have fully cooperated with law enforcement to try to “seek the truth and promote his presumption of innocence rather than judge unknown facts and make erroneous assumptions.”

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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