Four students from the University of Idaho were fatally stabbed in November 2022, and the case has gripped the nation ever since. Now that their suspected killer, Bryan Kohberger, began his trial on October 26, more information has been uncovered. For a full timeline and updates about the case, keep reading.
Idaho College Students Are Murdered
On November 13, 2022, University of Idaho students Kaylee Goncalves, Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen and Xana Kernodle were found dead in their shared off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho. Authorities revealed that the young adults were most likely murdered while they were asleep.
Hours before they were stabbed, Goncalves and Mogen went out to a local club, while Ethan and Xana attended a fraternity party at Sigma Chi.
Were There Any Survivors?
There are two survivors from the murders: roommates Bethany Funke and Dylan Mortensen. Mortensen reportedly claimed that she saw the killer on November 13. She described the murderer as “a figure clad in black clothing and a mask” and locked herself in her bedroom upon seeing him walk through the house.
Bethany initially fought a legal request for her to testify in court. Meanwhile, Kohberger’s defense team was pushing for her to appear in the Idaho courtroom because they believed Funke’s testimony could exonerate Kohberger. However, she eventually agreed to testify from Nevada during Kohberger’s preliminary hearing in Idaho.
Bryan Kohberger Identified As a Suspect
One month after their deaths, police identified Washington State criminology Ph. D student Kohberger as a suspect. He was arrested and charged in Pennsylvania with four counts of first degree murder and felony burglary. Police explained that they connected Kohberger to the crime scene with forensic analysis on a leather knife sheath. The DNA closely resembled to that of Kohberger’s, officials said.
Bryan Kohberger Goes to Trial
During his January 2023 preliminary hearing, Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial, and the trial was initially scheduled to take place on June 26. A jury officially indicted Kohberger with four counts of murder in the first degree in addition to felony burglary. He pleaded not guilty at the time.
Kohberger’s court date was eventually postponed to October 26. His defense team is reportedly arguing that the grand jury’s indictment lacked sufficient evidence connecting Kohberger to the crime scene and that the jurors were biased in their decision.
Bryan Kohberger’s Alibi Revealed
In August 2023, Kohberger’s defense attorneys came forward with his alibi, for which he claimed he was on a drive at the time of the murders.
“Mr. Kohberger has long had a habit of going for drives alone,” court documents for Kohberger’s alibi read. “Mr. Kohberger is not claiming to be at a specific location at a specific time; at this time, there is not a specific witness to say precisely where Mr. Kohberger was at each moment of the hours between late night November 12, 2022, and early morning November 13, 2022.”