Idaho Murders Suspect Bryan Kohberger’s Extradition: The suspect in the November murders of four University of Idaho students renounced extradition to Idaho to stand trial for murder there.
Bryan Kohberger was taken to the back of the courthouse by armed law police after arriving at the Monroe County Courthouse in Pennsylvania on Tuesday in a prison transport van while wearing handcuffs and a prison uniform.
When the judge questioned Kohberger if he had any mental health conditions that would prevent him from waiving his extradition, Kohberger’s father, who was present in the courtroom, nodded his head “no.” While wearing shackles around his wrist, the defendant signed the waiver at the defense table.
Kohberger must be turned over to the Latah County District Attorney’s Office in custody within 10 days, according to Judge Worthington’s order.
According to Jason LaBar, Kohberger’s state-appointed extradition attorney, Kohberger has exercised his right to remain quiet moving forward.
The attorney had earlier said his client intended to waive extradition from his home state and referred to the hearing as a “formality proceeding,” thus Tuesday’s action was anticipated.
According to Monroe County Chief Public Defender LaBar, all the Commonwealth needed to show was that his client resembles or is the person on the arrest warrant and that he was present during the offenses.
As he was led inside, Kohberger avoided responding to inquiries from reporters. As the officers escorted him into the courtroom, he made eye contact and nodded to his family sitting in the front row behind the defense table.
When the judge informed Kohberger that he would be charged with murder when he returned to Idaho, his mother fell into his sister’s arms, and they both sobbed. Kohberger’s father and a representative from the public defender’s office were also present.
State police have stated that plans are being made to move Kohberger to Idaho, but no timetable has been provided.
“My heart goes out to the families of the victims, their friends, the community of Moscow, and the University of Idaho,” Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Robert Evanchick said at a news conference. “No words can heal the pain associated with the loss of a child. Their young lives ended far too soon.”
According to a source acquainted with Kohberger’s status at the facility, the Monroe County Correctional Facility warden told officials that Kohberger had been a “model prisoner” who has not caused any issues throughout his time in custody.
Kohberger, confined in a cell under constant officer surveillance, is a maximum-status prisoner.
The source claims he has “followed directions” and stayed “silent.”
Almost seven weeks after Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, were discovered dead in a Moscow, Idaho, off-campus home on November 13, Kohberger was taken into custody in Pennsylvania on Friday.
A day after his client’s arrest, LaBar told CNN that Kohberger was “slightly stunned.” According to LaBar’s statement, Kohberger is presumed innocent until proven guilty. He ‘thinks he’s going to be cleared,’ LaBar stated during a Tuesday “Today” show interview on NBC.
Kohberger is “in a peaceful demeanor,” understands the proceedings, including what to expect regarding his transfer to Idaho and what to expect when he gets there, according to LaBar. He has also been “quite easy to talk to.”
The 28-year-old suspect recently completed his first semester of study for his Ph.D. in criminal justice at Washington State University’s Pullman campus, located about 15 minutes west of Moscow.
According to LaBar, who spoke to CNN on Saturday, he and his father traveled back to Pennsylvania for the holidays. Around December 17, the two travelers landed in the Commonwealth.
At Kohberger’s parents’ home, LaBar verified that the white Hyundai Elantra that police were looking for in connection with the killings had been located.
Kohberger was pulled over twice by law officers on December 15 while traveling through Indiana for following too closely in the Elantra, according to officials Tuesday. A state policeman made the second stop, and after giving Kohberger a warning, he released him.
“At the time of this stop, there was no information on a suspect for the offense in Idaho, to include identifying information or any specific information relating to the license plate state or number of the white Hyundai Elantra,” Indiana State Police said. This was also stated in the release from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, which had initially arrested him.
According to two law enforcement sources briefed on the case, investigators narrowed in on Kohberger as a suspect after tracing the ownership of the Elantra that had been observed in the vicinity of the deaths to him. Additionally, according to the two sources, his DNA matched genetic material found at the house where the students were killed.
Before his arrest, an FBI surveillance team followed Kohberger for four days as law enforcement and prosecutors attempted to establish enough probable cause to obtain a warrant, according to the two law enforcement sources.
Details like whether Kohberger knew the victims or a potential reason for the killings are unknown to the public, aside from the DNA and the automobile. Until the suspect appears in an Idaho court, the probable-cause affidavit, which would include details to support the defendant’s arrest, is kept under seal.
On Tuesday, Michael Mancuso, the first assistant district attorney for Monroe County, asserted that Kohberger waived extradition because he desired to review the affidavit.
“I believe that one of the main reasons the defendant chose to waive extradition and hurry his return to Idaho was the need to know what was in those documents,” Mancuso said at a news conference.
The public has shown great interest in Kohberger’s research on criminal justice because those specifics are yet unclear.
At DeSales Campus in Pennsylvania, he earned his bachelor’s degree in 2020 and finished his master’s degree in criminal justice this year, according to a university representative.
Bryan Kohberger, a DeSales University student researcher, sought participants for a study “to investigate how emotions and psychological features influence decision-making when committing a crime” in a post that was taken down from Reddit after his arrest was made.
“In particular, this study seeks to understand the story behind your most recent criminal offense, with an emphasis on your thoughts and feelings throughout your experience,” the post read.
James Fry, the chief of the Moscow Police Department, stated following the arrest that the complicated and broad case was still under investigation.
According to Fry, investigators are still looking for specific information, such as the suspected fixed-blade knife used in the crime.
“We developed a clear picture over time,” he said, “(but) be assured that the work is not done. This is just started.”
Mancuso declared that his office was prepared to help the Idaho investigators.
In a statement released Tuesday, Mancuso said, “I would hold our office at the disposal of the Idaho authorities to help facilitate a thorough background investigation into the defendant, both the activities leading up to the murders occurring within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and his activities after the murders in Pennsylvania.”
Mancuso continued, “In any case of this nature… you want to look at any evidence of a possible motive. You want to look at evidence of a pattern, modus operandi, or method. You want to get into the subject’s character and mental state to the best of your ability.” when asked what Pennsylvania authorities will specifically look at.
According to Bill Thompson, the prosecutor for Latah County, Kohberger is being held without bond in Pennsylvania. After Kohberger arrives in Idaho, additional hearings will be set after his initial appearance before a magistrate.