Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger’s trial may NOT be streamed on TV

Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger’s could be kept off TV after lawyers from both sides call for a ban on courtroom cameras

  • Attorneys on both sides of the forthcoming murder trial have asked the judge to limit camera access to the courtroom 
  • Last month, suspect Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial
  • Originally set to begin October 2, it is now unclear when the trial of the alleged killer of four Idaho college students will begin 

Lawyers on both sides of the upcoming trial of Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger have asked that TV cameras be restricted in court.

In late August, Kohberger’s defense team asked Latah County District Judge John Judge to bar cameras from the courtroom, claiming the coverage would violate the accused’s constitutional rights.

Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson has now responded by citing his own concerns about a media presence during the trial and requested the judge, at very least, remove cameras during the testimony of ‘a number of young and vulnerable witnesses.’

Some of those witnesses including the two surviving Idaho housemates – college students who lived with three of the four victims who were brutally murdered last November during a 4am home invasion.

‘In addition to, and at least partially as a result of, the substantial traditional and social media coverage, certain witnesses have already been subjected to threats and harassment, including physical intrusions, directed at not only the witnesses and other University coeds, but their extended families and friends,’ Thompson noted. 

Attorneys on both sides of the Bryan Kohberger murder trial have asked that the judge limit camera access to the courtroom

(L-R) Housemates Dylan Mortensen, Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen (on Kaylee's shoulders) Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle and Bethany Funke

At Kohberger’s arraignment in May, the judge entered not guilty pleas on the defendant’s behalf to four counts of first-degree murder and a burglary charge, for the deaths of Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle and Kaylee Goncalves.

Following his arrest, Kohberger said he is looking forward to being exonerated. Prosecutors, on the other hand, allege that investigators found his DNA on aa weapon found beside Mogen’s body.

During a late June hearing, the judge said that cameras in Moscow, Idaho – where the trial will be held – need to show a wide shot of the courtroom and not focus exclusively on Kohberger.

Kohberger’s defense attorney, Jay Logsdon, cited the judge’s warning during his filing to remove cameras, arguing subsequent coverage of the allegations against Kohberger is biasing potential area jurors against him.

‘Observers’ continued failure to comply with the Court’s June 27th directive compounds this problem and results in the potential jury pool’s constant inundation with conclusory accusations and sensationalistic nonsense guised as factual reporting and analysis,’ he wrote in a filing made public late last month.

The court will make the final decision about the role cameras will play in the murder trial. A hearing about the issue is scheduled for Wednesday.

Judges have made differing calls across high-profile cases in the past. Alex Murdaugh and OJ Simpson sat through trials that were televised live to the American public. ‘Cult mom’ Lori Vallow, on the other hand, had her trial primarily taken off air by a judge.

In August, Kohhberger waived his right to a speedy trial, which prosecutors agreed to. The original trial date was October 2

Prior to the grisly murders, Kohberger was studying for a Ph.D. in criminology at Washington State University. Pictured: the home where four Idaho college students were found murdered

 Prior to the grisly murders, Kohberger was studying for a Ph.D. in criminology at Washington State University, just 10 miles from the University of Idaho, where the four victims were students.

If convicted, Kohberger may face the death penalty.   

Detectives relied on genetic genealogy to build their case against Kohberger, using genetic genealogy to build a a DNA profile from the DNA left on a knife sheath at the scene.

The FBI tracked down Kohberger by tracing his distant relatives through genetic genealogy databases – and then secretly collected a sample of his father’s DNA to confirm his identity.

Police say DNA found on a knife sheath left at the Idaho murders scene is a ‘statistical match’ to a cheek swab taken from the suspect after his arrest.

During previous hearing, prosecutors have insisted Kohberger provides witnesses that can support an alibi. However his defense said that ‘at this time there is not a specific witness to say precisely where Kohberger was’ on the night of the murders. 

‘He was out, driving during the late night and early morning hours of November 12-13, 2022,’ attorneys said, adding that he ‘is not claiming to be at a specific location at a specific time.’

Prosecutors have demanded more specifics over his alleged alibi, and say that ‘driving in the area’ does not exonerate him and instead places him at the scene.

Kohberger’s lawyers have claimed he had a habit of ‘going for drives alone at night’ and did so on the night of the killings.

At a previous hearing, one of the victims' family members was spotted wearing a pro-death penalty shirt

Last month, Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial, thereby delaying his original October 2 trial date.

Despite wanting to come to a resolution as soon as possible, the prosecution did not object – agreeing that the delay was the best option.

A hearing is currently set for September 22, at which there will be further discussion of a trial date.

During the August hearing when Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial, relatives of slain University of Idaho student Kaylee Goncalves were allegedly seen taunting Kohberger with a pro-death penalty t-shirt.

In June, prosecutors indicated they would pursue the death penalty against Kohberger.

The family of Goncalves shared an emotional message on a Facebook page hours before the hearing, expressing fear that Kohberger’s trial would be delayed.

‘Please pray for our family today,’ they wrote. ‘We want to get this trial over. Just thinking it could be years absolutely kills me.’ 

‘We are afraid he is going to waive his rights to a speedy trial,’ the post read. ‘If he does, trial will not be starting on Oct. 2 and it is very likely that it won’t take place for years.’ 

While the hearing was closed to the media and public, families of the victims were allowed to attend via Zoom. 


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