The judge in Bryan Kohberger’s murder trial is urging the media to exercise restraint as he has criticized their coverage of the case and has not yet made a final decision on whether the trial can be televised.
Kohberger is charged with four counts of murder in connection with the deaths at a rental home near the university campus in Moscow, Idaho, last November.
Judge John Judge presided over a hearing Wednesday in which a coalition of media members and the prosecution pushed for the trial to be photographed, televised and even broadcast live.
The judge said the media had “gone to the limit” in its coverage of the case and questioned whether the media had the right to “interfere” in the process.
He dismissed the hearing without making a final decision on whether cameras would be used at the trial.
The judge in Bryan Kohberger’s murder trial is urging the media to exercise restraint as he has criticized their coverage of the case and has not yet made a final decision on whether the trial can be televised
Judge John Judge presided over a hearing Wednesday in which a coalition of media members and the prosecution pushed for the trial to be photographed, televised and even broadcast live
Kohberger’s defense attorneys pushed for the cameras to either be removed from the courtroom or at least moved to another location, amid concerns that the trial could become a television show.
The judge agreed, citing the OJ Simpson “trial of the century,” which was on television for hours every day for weeks.
“If anyone watched this case, it was a circus,” he said.
“It’s not the same media as it was 10 years ago with social media,” Judge added, arguing that attention to cases has “gotten out of control.”
Finally, he said that the arguments would be examined before the hearing was dismissed.
At Kohberger’s arraignment in May, the judge pleaded not guilty on behalf of the defendant to four counts of first-degree murder and burglary for the death of Madison Mogen, Ethan ChapinXana Kernodle and Kaylee Goncalves.
After his arrest, Kohberger said he looked forward to being exonerated. Prosecutors, however, claim that investigators found his DNA on a gun found next to Mogen’s body.
During a hearing in late June, the judge said that cameras in Moscow, Idaho – where the trial will take place – should show a full shot of the courtroom and not focus exclusively on Kohberger.
Kohberger enters a courtroom to appear at a hearing in Latah County District Court on Wednesday
Kohberger’s defense attorneys pushed for the cameras to either be removed from the courtroom or at least moved to another location, fearing that doing so could turn the trial into a TV show
(LR) Roommates Dylan Mortensen, Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen (on Kaylee’s shoulders), Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle and Bethany Funke
Kohberger’s defense attorney, Jay Logsdon, pointed to the judge’s warning during his motion to remove the cameras and argued that subsequent reporting of the allegations against Kohberger biased potential jurors from the area against him.
“The continued failure of ‘observers’ to comply with the Court’s June 27 directive exacerbates this problem and results in the potential jury pool being constantly inundated with conclusive allegations and sensationalized nonsense under the guise of factual reporting and analysis,” he wrote in a filing , which was released late last month.
The court will make the final decision on the role of the cameras in the murder trial. A hearing on the issue is scheduled for Wednesday.
Judges have made different decisions in high-profile cases in the past. Alex Murdaugh and OJ Simpson participated in trials that were televised live to the American public. The trial against “cult mom” Lori Vallow, however, was largely taken off the air by a judge.
In August, Kohhberger waived his right to a speedy trial, which prosecutors agreed to. The original trial date was October 2nd
Before the gruesome murders, Kohberger was studying for a doctorate. in Criminology from Washington State University. Pictured: the home where four Idaho college students were found murdered
Before the gruesome murders, Kohberger was studying for a doctorate. in criminology from Washington State University, just 10 miles from the University of Idaho, where the four victims were students.
If convicted, Kohberger faces the death penalty.
Investigators relied on genetic genealogy to charge Kohberger, using genetic genealogy to create a DNA profile from DNA left on a knife sheath at the crime scene.
The FBI tracked down Kohberger by tracking down his distant relatives using genetic genealogy databases – and then secretly collected a DNA sample from his father to confirm his identity.
Police say DNA found on a knife sheath left at the crime scene in Idaho is a “statistical match” to a cheek swab taken from the suspect after his arrest.
At previous hearings, prosecutors insisted that Kohberger provide witnesses who could support an alibi. However, his defense said there is “currently no specific witness who could say exactly where Kohberger was on the night of the murder.”
“He was out and about late at night and in the early morning hours on November 12-13, 2022,” the lawyers said, adding that he “does not claim to be in a specific place at a specific time.”
Prosecutors demanded more details about his alleged alibi, saying that “driving in the area” did not exonerate him but instead brought him to the crime scene.
Kohberger’s lawyers claim he had a habit of “driving alone at night” and did so on the night of the murders.
At a previous hearing, one of the victims’ family members was seen wearing a T-shirt supporting the death penalty
Last month, Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial, postponing his original trial date of Oct. 2.
Although we wanted to find a solution as quickly as possible, tThe prosecutor’s office did not object – it agreed to the delay was the best option.
A hearing is currently scheduled for September 22nd, where there will be further discussions about a trial date.
During the August hearing, when Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial, relatives of murdered University of Idaho student Kaylee Goncalves were reportedly seen taunting Kohberger with a T-shirt supporting the death penalty.
In June, prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty against Kohberger.
Goncalves’ family shared an emotional message on a Facebook page hours before the hearing, expressing fear that Kohberger’s trial would be delayed.
“Please pray for our family today,” they wrote. “We want to get this process over with. Just the thought that it could take years is killing me.”
“We fear he will waive his right to a speedy trial,” the post said. “If he does that, the trial will not begin on October 2 and it is very likely that it will not take place for another few years.”
While the hearing was closed to the media and public, the victims’ families were allowed to attend via Zoom.