Suspect In Killing Of 4 Idaho Undergrads Agrees To Be

Suspect in Killing of 4 Idaho Undergrads Agrees to Be Extradited

Suspect In Killing Of 4 Idaho Undergrads Agrees To Be

The 28-year-old Ph.D. student accused in the killings will be taken to Idaho to face four counts of murder after making a brief appearance in a Pennsylvania courtroom.

STROUDSBURG, Pa. — The graduate criminology student accused of fatally stabbing four University of Idaho students made his first court appearance on Tuesday in Pennsylvania, agreeing to be voluntarily extradited to Idaho to face murder charges.

The graduate student, Bryan Kohberger, 28, was arrested at his parents’ house in Eastern Pennsylvania last week and charged in the overnight killings of four students at a home in Moscow, Idaho, on Nov. 13. Mr. Kohberger had entered a Ph.D. program in criminology and criminal justice at Washington State University last summer and moved to Pullman, Wash., a 20-minute drive across the border from the scene of a crime that horrified and confounded the college town.

The police have not outlined a possible motive, but the authorities in Idaho were expected to release more details, including in a criminal complaint, after Mr. Kohberger arrives in the state. The public defender representing Mr. Kohberger in Pennsylvania, Jason LaBar, has said Mr. Kohberger looks forward to being exonerated.

E. David Christine Jr., the district attorney in Monroe County, Pa., where Tuesday’s court appearance took place, said he expected authorities would “immediately” take Mr. Kohberger to Idaho once the extradition hearing was over.

Mr. Kohberger arrived at the courthouse from jail handcuffed and wearing a red jumpsuit, according to videos posted online. He did not respond to reporters as they shouted questions, including whether he had carried out the crime. Mr. LaBar said Mr. Kohberger had told him that he was shocked to be considered a suspect in the slayings.

In court, he answered a set of standard questions from the judge and signed a waiver allowing his extradition. When the judge asked him if he was mentally ill or taking any medications that would affect his ability to make a decision, he said that he was not.

The four University of Idaho undergraduate students — Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20 — were killed in a home near campus where three of them lived. The one male victim, Mr. Chapin, was there visiting his girlfriend, Ms. Kernodle.

There has been no indication made public so far that Mr. Kohberger knew any of the victims.

“I’m biased, but if he’d got to know my daughter, I think it’d be impossible for you to hurt her,” Ms. Goncalves’s father, Steve Goncalves, told NewsNation.

Katie Blomgren, who is studying psychology at the University of Idaho and knew Ms. Goncalves and Ms. Mogen since they were all 11, said she was among those struggling to understand the connections, if any, between Mr. Kohberger and the victims.

“I’ve never seen him or heard of him,” said Ms. Blomgren, 21.

The killings took place after a seemingly typical Saturday night of college partying. Ms. Mogen and Ms. Goncalves had gone to a bar in town while Ms. Kernodle and Mr. Chapin spent time at a party at his fraternity. All four had arrived back at the house by 2 a.m.

Also in the three-story residence were two female roommates who apparently slept through the killings and were not harmed. The police have said that when the roommates awoke the next morning, they called friends over to the house, not knowing of the horrors that had unfolded on the second and third floors, and then someone in the group called 911.

As details about the killing emerged and no suspect was arrested, many students left Moscow early for Thanksgiving break and did not return afterward, choosing instead to take classes online.

The police have said they believe a long knife was used in the killings but that they have not found the murder weapon.

Mr. Kohberger had been staying at his parents’ home after apparently traveling there for winter break. He had enrolled in the Washington State program after studying criminology and psychology at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pa., where he had helped with a study about what people thought about and felt while they committed crimes.

Mike Baker contributed reporting.

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