'School is out of the picture': Internet debates Bryan Kohberger's return to WSU if 'found innocent'
This article is based on sources and MEAWW cannot verify this information independently.
MOSCOW, IDAHO: Bryan Kohberger, 28, who has been charged with the brutal murders of four University of Idaho students, was arrested on December 30, 2022, at his parents' home in eastern Pennsylvania, more than 2,500 miles away from the town of Moscow. Kohberger, a PhD student in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at the neighboring Washington State University is now facing four counts of first-degree murder and felony burglary charges. While, the case is yet to go on trial, internet users wonder "what would happen to Kohberger's position at WSU." Several are interested to know whether he "would be allowed back if proven not guilty."
Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were stabbed to death on November 13, 2022, in their off-campus rental home on King Road in Moscow. The probable cause affidavit, which was made public on January 5, revealed some key details of the case, such as the phone data pointing out that Kohberger was in the area of the murders at least 12 times before the killings and that the suspect left behind a knife sheath at the crime scene with his DNA on it. Also, the quadruple-murder accused was "seen" by one of the survivors, Dylan Mortensen.
A Reddit user, who claimed to be a PhD student, floated the question, "What Happens to BK's Position in Grad School?" The user further added, "I'm a PhD student in a different field and school. I'm curious what happens to BK's position in his program during all of this. Did he officially withdraw? Take a temporary leave of absence? No one in my program has been charged with serious crimes during grad school (afaik) and so I don't even know how my program would handle this. Anyone familiar with WSU and their system? If he did somehow manage to be cleared of all charges, would he be allowed back at WSU?"
A user replied to these questions with, "If you’re WSU you’re in a weird spot. Do you kick the guy out to be on the side of genpop and issue an apology to BK afterward (if found innocent) or do you assume innocence until proven guilty and keep him as part of the program."
Some of the users believed that since Kohberger was yet to be proven guilty, WSU would grant him his education. The user said, "I would think that they would wait until he’s found guilty. He also paid for his education. I would think that they would grant him his education, but would not grant him the certificate or the honors." Another added in the same vein, "Yeah I don't agree with them kicking him out. Technically he's still innocent."
Suggesting "school is out of the picture" for Kohberger, another user wrote, "I mean I think school is out of the picture for him. But my guess is he was dropped from the program when he was arrested on 4 counts of murder."
A user claimed that Kohberger is no longer enrolled at WSU and would have to re-apply if acquitted. The user said, "Last I heard heard, WSU said he was no longer enrolled there and he's been scrubbed from their website and his e-mails have been deleted. I would imagine that if he were to be found not guilty, he would have to re-apply and go through the process again."
However, a "Graduate Teaching Fellow" came forward and wrote that "no criminology program will accept Kohberger." "When you are a GTF or TA, you have a contract. Breech of contract, you’re out. And BK isn’t showing up for work anymore. And when he’s in prison, no criminology pHD program will accept him although obtaining degrees is a reasonable and available pursuit for many incarcerated. End of that line, for him. Source: I was a GTF - 'Graduate Teaching Fellow,'" the user wrote.
Another user agreed and wrote, "Most PhD programs have a clause saying that a student can be removed from the program for 'acts of moral turpitude' and the like (non-payment of fees is another!) But for now the department probably placed him on indefinite leave and if he is found guilty, the clause above will kick in and he will be dismissed. It is hard to imagine that he will want to continue his studies there even if he is found to be innocent."
This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.