Bryan Kohberger could face the death penalty if found guilty of the Idaho murders. Yesterday (Jan. 5), in a Latah County courtroom, the 28-year-old acknowledged the charges he faces for the stabbing deaths of four college students that happened last November.
Although police arrested Kohberger in Pennsylvania, he could get life in prison or the lethal injection because the crime happened in Idaho. The decision on whether or not to pursue the death penalty will be in the hands of the county prosecutor Bill Thompson, who can’t say much because of a gag order.
“We are limited on what we are allowed, by the courts, to say outside the courtrooms,” he said during Friday’s (Jan. 6) press conference.
The reason is to limit the public’s interest in the case to ensure an unbiased jury since Latah County is a small community.
“There appear to be indications that the magistrate judge does have some concerns about information that could be released to the public, and therefore prevent us from finding an unbiased jury for this case,” said University of Idaho law professor Shaakirra Sanders.
When police captured Kohberger, authorities sealed details on the crime in the probable cause affidavits. Those documents have now been revealed, and according to the affidavits, trash from his parent’s home, surveillance footage, DNA found on a knife sheath recovered at the crime scene, cameras and phone locations are what led to Kohberger’s arrest.
The documents also state that the noises of loud cries woke up another woman who lived in the same home as the victims, and she saw a masked man dressed in black when she opened her bedroom door. The woman then stood in “frozen shock” as the man walked past her toward a glass sliding door.
One of the parents of the slain victim said he won’t be satisfied unless Kohberger gets the death penalty. Steve Goncalves, father of Kaylee Goncalves, told The New York Post, “Justice is when you leave the planet, and the whole world is able to rejoice and be glad that you’re not there.”
On Friday (Dec. 30), police arrested Kohberger for the fatal stabbings of Kaylee, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin. Kohberger faces four counts of first-degree murder and burglary.