Idaho suspect plans to waive extradition hearing

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A suspect arrested in connection with the murder of four University of Idaho students plans to waive an extradition hearing so he can be quickly brought to Idaho to face charges. murder charges, his lawyer said on Saturday.

Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old Ph.D. student and teaching assistant in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University, was taken into custody early Friday morning by Pennsylvania State Police at his parents’ home in Chestnuthill Township, authorities said.

Bill Thompson, a Latah County, Idaho district attorney, told a press conference Friday that investigators believe Kohberger broke into the University of Idaho student house near campus. “with intent to commit murder”. The bodies of the students – Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin – were found on November 13, several hours after investigators believe they died.

The arrest in the disturbing case has brought a sense of relief to the small northern Idaho college town after weeks gone by with little information released by police. But it also raised questions about whether the suspect knew the victims, what he did in the weeks after the killings and how authorities tracked him down in Pennsylvania.

Kohberger’s attorney, Chief Public Defender Jason LaBar, said Kohberger planned to tell a judge in Monroe County, Pa., on Tuesday that he would waive his extradition hearing so he could be quickly brought to Idaho to face the charges and that he wishes to be exonerated.

LaBar also cautioned people against passing judgment on the case until a fair trial has taken place. The case has generated huge amounts of speculation on social media, with would-be detectives frequently trying to pin the blame for the deaths on various friends and acquaintances of the victims.

“Mr. Kohberger has been charged with very serious crimes, yet the American justice system shrouds him in a veil of innocence,” LaBar wrote in a prepared statement. “He should be presumed innocent until proven guilty — and not judged by the court of public opinion.”

Neighbors of the Kohberger family in Chestnuthill Township, Pa., told the (Scranton) Times-Tribune on Friday that they were shocked to see law enforcement vehicles outside the home.

Eileen Cesaretti, who lives across the street, said she loved Kohberger’s parents and loved their son, who she said helped her and her husband around their home when he came home from school.

“I don’t think he’s capable of doing something like that. I pray to God that he is innocent,” Cesaretti said.

FILE - A Moscow police officer stands guard in his vehicle, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, at the home where four University of Idaho students were found dead Nov. 13, 2022 in Moscow, Idaho.  Idaho police investigating the stabbing deaths of the students said they were working with law enforcement in Eugene, Oregon, to determine if a white sedan found on the side of the road was linked to the Idaho case.  (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
FILE – A Moscow police officer stands guard in his vehicle, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, at the home where four University of Idaho students were found dead Nov. 13, 2022 in Moscow, Idaho. Idaho police investigating the stabbing deaths of the students said they were working with law enforcement in Eugene, Oregon, to determine if a white sedan found on the side of the road was linked to the Idaho case. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Nephi Duff lives next door to Bryan Kohberger in a Washington State University apartment complex for graduate students and families. He told Spokane, Washington-based television station KREM2 that recent crimes like the Moscow murders had left him in danger.

“I don’t remember ever seeing him,” Duff said of Kohberger. “I was thinking of moving to a small, safe community, but that hasn’t been the case recently. I just think if these things are happening under my nose, how can I protect (my family)? »

BK Norton, a student in WSU’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, said Friday that they didn’t know Kohberger well, but didn’t like him.

“We interacted in class, but personally I wasn’t a fan of Bryan because of the comments he made about LGBTQ+ people,” they said in an email to The Associated Press. “He was a little off, but I always thought it was because he was awkward and wanted to fit in. I don’t know anything about Bryan personally, I think he was from PA and that he was interested in forensic psychology.”

Thompson, the Idaho district attorney, asked anyone who knows Kohberger to call the police hotline to share the information.

“Call the tip line, report everything you know about him to help investigators and eventually our office and the justice system fully understand everything there is to know not only about the individual, but also about this happened and why,” Thompson said.

Idaho State Police Col. Kendrick Wills speaks during a news conference regarding the arrest of Bryan Kohberger, Friday, Dec. 30, 2022, at Moscow City Hall, Idaho.  Pennsylvania authorities have arrested Kohberger, a suspect in the murder of four Idaho college students.  (Austin Johnson/Lewiston Tribune via AP)
Idaho State Police Col. Kendrick Wills speaks during a news conference regarding the arrest of Bryan Kohberger, Friday, Dec. 30, 2022, at Moscow City Hall, Idaho. Pennsylvania authorities have arrested Kohberger, a suspect in the murder of four Idaho college students. (Austin Johnson/Lewiston Tribune via AP)

Federal and state investigators are now reviewing Kohberger’s background, financial records and electronic communications as they work to identify a motive and build the case, a law enforcement official who n was unable to publicly discuss details of the ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Investigators are also interviewing people who knew Kohberger, including those at WSU, the official said.

Kohberger is being held without bond in Pennsylvania and will be held without bond in Idaho once he is removed, Thompson said. The affidavit for four counts of first-degree murder in Idaho will remain sealed until he returns, the prosecutor said. He is also charged with burglary in Idaho. An extradition hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

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 was visiting the house that evening.

Autopsies showed that all four were probably asleep when they were attacked. Some had defensive wounds and each was stabbed multiple times. There were no signs of a sexual assault, police said.

Ben Roberts, a graduate student in WSU’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, described Kohberger as confident and outgoing, but said it seemed “he was always looking for a way to fit in.”

“Honestly, I just identified him as super clumsy.” said Roberts.

Roberts started the program in August — with Kohberger, he said — and took several classes with him. He described Kohberger as wanting to appear academic.

“One thing he always did, almost without fail, was find the most complicated way to explain something,” he said.

FILE - Students at Boise State University, along with people who knew the four University of Idaho students found killed in Moscow, Idaho, days earlier, pay tribute to a vigil held in front of a statue on the Boise State campus, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Boise, Idaho.  The arrest of Bryan Christopher Kohberger in the November 13, 2022, fatal stabbings of four University of Idaho students has brought relief to the small college town of Moscow, Idaho.  (Sarah A. Miller/Idaho Statesman via AP, File)
FILE – Students at Boise State University, along with people who knew the four University of Idaho students found killed in Moscow, Idaho, days earlier, pay tribute to a vigil held in front of a statue on the Boise State campus, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Boise, Idaho. The arrest of Bryan Christopher Kohberger in the November 13, 2022, fatal stabbings of four University of Idaho students has brought relief to the small college town of Moscow, Idaho. (Sarah A. Miller/Idaho Statesman via AP, File)

Levy reported from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Balsamo reported from Washington. News Researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York; journalists Mark Scolforo and Brooke Schultz in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Michael Kunzelman in Silver Spring, Maryland; and Martha Bellisle in Seattle also contributed.

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