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(NEW YORK) — The capital murder trial for Bryan Kohberger, the man accused of killing four Idaho college students last fall, will be delayed indefinitely.
Kohberger’s trial had been set to begin Oct. 2 — less than six weeks away — but will now be postponed after he waived his right to a speedy trial Wednesday afternoon in court. The judge accepted his waiver.
Kohberger defense attorney Anne Taylor said more time was needed to effectively present their case than would be possible by Oct. 2.
Kohberger’s defense said they still wanted to keep the upcoming Sept. 1 hearing date to address their request to dismiss the indictment – and after that, reconvene to discuss a new schedule reset.
The decision to delay the trial had been anticipated for weeks, ever since prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty against Kohberger.
In court on Wednesday, Judge John Judge directly confirmed with Kohberger that no one had pressured him in this decision to waive his right to a speedy trial, and that this was what he wanted to do — which Kohberger affirmed.
Idaho law requires that defendants receive a trial date within six months of their arraignment if they don’t waive that right.
Prosecutors allege that in the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 2022, Kohberger, a criminology Ph.D. student at nearby Washington State University, broke into an off-campus home and stabbed to death four University of Idaho students: Ethan Chapin, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21.
After a six-week hunt, police zeroed in on Kohberger as a suspect, saying they tracked his white Hyundai Elantra and cell phone signal data, and recovered what authorities said was his DNA on a knife sheath found next to one of the victims’ bodies.
Kohberger was indicted in May and charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary. At his arraignment, he declined to offer a plea, so the judge entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf. If convicted, Kohberger could face the death penalty.
Goncalves’ family responded to the developments on Wednesday, saying in a statement: “Upon the Court finally putting hard deadlines in place the Family suspected that the Defendant would waive his speedy trial rights. This case carries enormous weight for the families and the community and this additional time allows both sides to be fully prepared for the next trial date.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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