Trial date set for Idaho student murder suspect Bryan Kohberger

Kohberger is charged in the Nov. 2022 stabbing deaths of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin.
Prosecution proposes summer trial for suspected killer Bryan Kohberger
Posted at 2:52 PM, Jun 27, 2024

Bryan Kohberger is slated to face a jury of his peers in June 2025. The suspect in the Idaho student murders appeared for a brief order-setting hearing Thursday in a Latah County courtroom.

Proceedings are expected to last three months, with two weeks of jury selection, eight weeks of trial and two weeks for mitigation should Kohberger be found guilty.

Kohberger, now 29, is charged in the Nov. 2022 stabbing deaths of Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20. The bodies of the victims, all University of Idaho students, were discovered in an off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho.

At his May 2023 arraignment, the judge entered not guilty pleas on Kohberger's behalf to four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary.

Members of Goncalves' family were present in the courtroom at Thursday's hearing. In a statement to ABC News, the family called it a good day, saying, "We were able to get a trial date set and things appear to be moving forward. We are hopeful the trial stays in Latah County so as not to disrupt the scheduling order and we are praying for no more delays. We moved a little closer to justice today for Kaylee, Maddie, Xana and Ethan."

Related: Kohberger alibi to dispute his location on night of Idaho murders

Members of both the prosecution and defense agreed to Latah County District Court Judge John Judge's proposed trial timeline. He clarified that he will allow leeway in terms of upcoming deadlines, such as pretrial motions. Those include motions to suppress, motions in limine, motions challenging the death penalty and expert disclosure deadlines, among other matters.

Judge Judge acknowledged that between now and next June there will be a lot of motions filed, a series of hearings and much work to be done, but he believes the timeline is balanced and manageable.

Anne Taylor, a member of Kohberger's defense team, pointed out that while the timeline works for her, she does not agree with the judge's proposal that the trial be held in Latah County. Taylor plans to present arguments urging Judge Judge to move the high-profile case to a neighboring county. He set a tentative date for that change of venue motion to be heard on Aug. 29.

Kohberger is currently being held without bail at the Latah County Jail. If convicted, he faces a possible death sentence.

This story was originally published by Katie McLaughlin on Court TV.