Idaho murders: Bryan Kohberger may take plea deal if DNA evidence is strong, says expert
This article is based on sources and MEAWW cannot verify this information independently.
MOSCOW, IDAHO: Bryan Christopher Kohberger, the suspect arrested in the murders of the four University of Idaho students, has reportedly been rushing his extradition to Idaho as he is eager to learn details of the charges and allegations leveled against him in the sealed affidavits. According to an expert, the suspected quadruple murderer could take a plea deal if the evidence presented against him is strong.
The 28-year-old PhD student agreed to be extradited after appearing in a Pennsylvania court on Tuesday, January 3. He will be transported to the state within 10 days. Kohberger was arrested from his parent’s Poconos house on December 31 for allegedly killing Kaylee Gonvalves, 21, Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Madison Mogen, 21, in their off-campus home on November 13, 2022. He is currently facing four charges of first-degree murder for the brutal stabbings.
Following the hearing, Jennifer Coffindaffer, a former FBI agent, told Newsweek that she believes Kohberger intends to go "all the way" in defending himself against the charges. She confirmed that he is likely waiting to see the weight of the evidence against him. "If there is strong DNA evidence against him, I think he could take a plea," she said. "I think he's waiting to see the weight of the evidence against him, and then he will make a decision."
The officials will not release the probable cause affidavit detailing the evidence for charges against Kohberger until he arrives in Idaho, Newsweek reported. The affidavit and court documents remaining sealed is a "quirk" of Idaho law, Michael Mancuso, first assistant district attorney of Pennsylvania's Monroe County, said during a press conference after Kohberger’s extradition hearing. "Having read those documents, and the sealed affidavits of probable cause, I believe that one of the main reasons the defendant chose to waive extradition and hurry his return back to Idaho was the need to know what was in those documents," he said.
Judge issues gag order banning officials from releasing info about Bryan Kohberger
The statement from Mancuso came after a ‘gag order’ was passed by Latah County Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall to block the investigators as well as lawyers from both sides from speaking publicly about the ongoing case.
“On January 3, 2023, Latah County Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall issued a nondissemination order in regard to the murder case against Bryan C Kohberger. The order prohibits any communication by investigators, law enforcement personnel, attorneys, and agents of the prosecuting attorney or defense attorney concerning this case,” Moscow police shared in a statement. Such orders can be issued when judges are concerned that pre-trial publicity could prevent a defendant from getting a fair trial.
Idaho murder victim Ethan Chapin's family feels relieved after suspect’s arrest
The family of Ethan Chapin, one of the four victims, recently spoke about Kohberger's arrest. "We are relieved this chapter is over because it provides a form of closure. However, it doesn't alter the outcome or alleviate the pain. We miss Ethan, and our family is forever changed," a statement from the family read.
"We remain grateful to the University of Idaho and the Sigma Chi fraternity for their ongoing support. We also appreciate the outpouring of kind words from so many others, which we'll need as we enter the next chapter of this nightmare. Today, we marvel at the continued stories about Ethan and the lives he touched in his short 20 years. If we all lived and loved as Ethan did, the world would be a better place," the statement added.