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Suspect in Idaho student slayings makes 1st court appearance

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This is an undated photo of Bryan Kohberger, arrested for the murder of four university students in Moscow, Idaho./AFP
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Jan 06, 2023 - 07:09 AM

DETROIT, Michigan (AA) – The lead suspect in the Nov. 13, 2022 slayings of four University of Idaho students made his first court appearance Thursday alongside his public defender, according to CNN.

Bryan Kohberger, 28, is charged with first-degree murder in the brutal killings of Ethan Chapin, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; and Xana Kernodle, 20, four friends who were stabbed to death while sleeping in a three-story home rented by Mogen, Goncalves and Kernodle just off the University of Idaho campus in Moscow, Idaho.

The suspect is a doctoral student in criminology at nearby Washington State University, where he also serves as a teaching assistant in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Kohberger appeared in the Latah County District Court in Moscow, Idaho after having been flown back Wednesday from eastern Pennsylvania. He was arrested last Friday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Pennsylvania State Police at his parent’s home in Chestnuthill Township and taken into custody. Kohberger made the trip east a few days prior with his father in a white Hyundai Elantra.

Kohberger waived his extradition hearing while in Pennsylvania so he could be taken back expeditiously to Idaho. He has said he hopes to be exonerated in the case.

The suspect sat alongside Ann Taylor, the Idaho public defender, in his morning appearance. Family members of those slain were in the courtroom as well, including Steve Goncalves, father of Kaylee Goncalves, one of the victims, who was in the front row with his wife and other relatives.

In the proceedings, Taylor requested a review of bail. Prosecutor Bill Thompson argued that no bail should be upheld, to which the presiding magistrate judge agreed.

A police affidavit released Thursday has revealed as well that DNA from Kohberger was found on a knife sheath recovered at the scene of the crime.

Earlier in the week, Kohberger’s parents and sisters expressed sympathy for the families of the victims while at the same time saying they support Kohberger and his “presumption of innocence” in the affair.

“As a family, we will love and support our son and brother,” the Kohberger family said. ​​​​​​​

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Kohberger for Jan. 12. The weapon used in the killings has yet to be found.

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