A criminology graduate student accused of the November murders of four University of Idaho students waived his right to an extradition hearing in a Pennsylvania court on Tuesday, expediting his transfer to Idaho where he will stand trial.
Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old doctoral student and teaching assistant in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University, was arrested Friday morning by state police at his parents’ home in the mountains. Pocono of Pennsylvania, authorities said.
Officials are now expected to arrange for Kohberger’s transportation back to Idaho, a process that is generally kept secret due to safety concerns.
Monroe County’s top public defender, Jason LaBar, said his client is eager to be exonerated and his client should be presumed innocent and “not be tried in the court of public opinion.”
DNA SAMPLES WOULD HAVE LINKED HIM TO THE MASSACRE
Capt. Anthony Dahlinger of the Moscow Police Department in Idaho told The Associated Press on Saturday that authorities believe Kohberger was responsible for all four murders.
“We think we have our guy,” he said, adding that investigators obtained samples of Kohberger’s DNA directly from him after he was arrested.
Kohberger’s relatives in Pennsylvania expressed sympathy for the families of the victims, but vowed to support him and promote “his presumption of innocence.”
Their parents, Michael and Maryann, and their two older sisters, Amanda and Melissa, said in a statement issued Sunday by their attorney 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 for them every day.”
The police do not know who the suspect is.
The family said they will continue to allow the legal process to unfold and that “as a family we will love and support our son and brother.” They say they have fully cooperated with law enforcement to try to “seek the truth and promote their presumption of innocence rather than judge unknown facts and make wrong assumptions.”
WHAT IS KNOWN ABOUT MULTIPLE MURDER AND VICTIMS
Prosecutors in Latah County, Idaho, have said they believe Kohberger broke into the students’ home near the college campus with the intent to commit murder. Their bodies were found on November 13, several hours after investigators believe they died.
The students — Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho; and Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington, were members of the university’s Greek system and close friends.
Mogen, Goncalves and Kernodle lived in the three-story rental house with two other roommates. Kernodle and Chapin were dating and he had been visiting the house that night.
Latah County prosecutors have said the affidavit for four counts of first-degree murder will remain sealed until the defendant returns to Idaho. He is also charged with burglary.
Investigators have requested information on Kohberger from anyone who knows him, and Dahlinger said they received 400 calls to a tip line within the first hour of that request. He said they were “trying to build this picture now of him: who he is, his story, how we got to this event, why this event happened.”