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Prosecutors Plan To Seek Death Penalty Against Accused Killer Of Idaho College Students

Moscow, ID – Latah County Prosecutor William “Bill” Thompson has filed notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Bryan Kohberger in connection with the gruesome stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students.

The notice, which was filed by Thompson in Latah County District Court on June 26, noted that the Nov. 13, 2022 murders of 21-year-old Kaylee Goncalves, 21-year-old Madison Mogen, 20-year-old Xana Kernodle, and 20-year-old Ethan Chapin were “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity…”

Thompson further accused Kohberger, 28, of carrying out the quadruple homicide “in perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, arson, rape, robbery, burglary, kidnapping or mayhem,” and asserted the accused killer “had exhibited a propensity to commit murder which will probably constitute a continuing threat to society,” according to the filing.

Thompson said there are no mitigating circumstances blocking the court from considering the full range of penalties if Kohberger is convicted.

“Consequently, considering all evidence currently known to the State, the State is compelled to file this notice of intent to seek the death penalty,” he wrote.

Kohberger’s defense team, meanwhile, has alleged the investigation has revealed “no connection” between him and the four slain victims, FOX News reported.

They have criticized investigators’ use of genetic genealogy and DNA collection, as well as their tracking of the white car prosecutors alleged linked the accused killer to the crime scene.

The Defense team has also questioned why additional DNA belonging to three other identified males that was recovered at the scene has not undergone further testing, according to FOX News.

“No matter what came first, the car or the genetic genealogy, the investigation has provided precious little,” Kohberger’s attorneys declared on Monday. “There is no connection between Mr. Kohberger and the victims.”

Kohberger is facing four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary in connection with the stabbing deaths of the four students inside their off-campus residence in Moscow.

He was living and attending school in nearby Washington state at the time of the killings.

Kohberger has been incarcerated without bail since his apprehension at his parents’ home in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, in December of 2022.

Investigators said DNA found on a knife sheath that was lying next to Mogen’s body was a “statistical match” to a DNA cheek swab collected from Kohberger after his arrest, FOX News reported.

His trial is slated to begin on Oct. 2.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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