Idaho college killings: Timeline of events in Bryan Kohberger case

  • Four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death Nov. 13, 2022
  • Suspect Bryan Kohberger faces four murder charges connected to the killings
  • No trial date has been set for Kohberger

(NewsNation) — The brutal killings of four University of Idaho students sent shockwaves through the tight-knit community of Moscow, Idaho in a case that commanded the attention of the country.

Suspect Bryan Kohberger is accused of murdering Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin. The students were found with fatal stab wounds in an off-campus rental home in the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 2022.

More than a month later, investigators arrested Kohberger at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania. He was extradited to Idaho and now faces four charges of first-degree murder and one charge of burglary.

Kohberger entered a not guilty plea in May. As his attorneys and prosecutors spar over pretrial motions in court, no trial date has been set for Kohberger. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Here’s a timeline retracing key moments of the Idaho college killings case.

Chapin, Kernodle attend party; Mogen, Goncalves go to local bar

Nov. 12, 2022: Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle, who were dating, go to a party at the Sigma Chi fraternity house at around 8 p.m. About two hours later, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves hang out at the Corner Club, a local sports bar in Moscow, for a few hours.

University of Idaho students stabbed

Nov. 13, 2022: Video shows Mogen and Goncalves ordering food at about 1:40 a.m. from Grub Truck, a local vendor. They can be seen chatting with each other and people near the truck while waiting for their food. They then used a “private party” to catch a ride home.

At approximately 1:45 a.m. Chapin, Kernodle, Mogen and Goncalves arrive back at the off-campus rental home on King Rd. Kernodle, Mogen and Goncalves lived at the house. Chapin, Kernodle’s boyfriend, was staying the night there.

Investigators believe the four students, thought to be sleeping at the time, were fatally stabbed between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. According to the coroner, there was no sign of sexual assault.

Just before noon, two surviving roommates wake up and find one of the victims on the second floor unresponsive. Other friends were called over to the house. At 11:58 a.m., someone calls 911 on one of the surviving roommates’ phones about an “unconscious individual.” Responding officers find a bloody scene and discover the four students dead.

The University of Idaho announces it was notified that four students were killed. Out of respect for them, the university on Nov. 13 called off classes on Nov. 14.

Idaho stabbing victims identified

Nov. 14, 2022: Police identify the students killed as Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20.

The University of Idaho released the following information about the victims.

Chapin was a freshman from Mount Vernon, Washington. He was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity majoring in recreation, sport and tourism management.

Kernodle was a junior from Post Falls, Idaho. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority majoring in marketing in the College of Business and Economics.

Goncalves was a senior from Rathdrum, Idaho. She was a member of Alpha Phi sorority majoring in general studies in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.

Mogen was a senior from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority majoring in marketing in the College of Business and Economics.

Murder weapon revealed

Nov. 15, 2022: Moscow police announced the killer used a knife or another “edged weapon” in the attack. Days later, investigators officially name the cause of death “homicide — murder.”

‘So much fear’ on Idaho campus

Nov. 22, 2022: The University of Idaho says students can choose between in-person or remote learning through the end of the semester. Twenty-five to 40% of students decided not to return to campus, according to reports. Idaho student Megan Stanley told NewsNation: “There’s so much tension, there’s so much fear. With a couple of weeks left in the semester and finals approaching, campus should be full of students and really lively. And I feel like I’m only seeing a handful of students walking around.”

Police hunt for Hyundai Elantra

Dec. 7, 2022: The Moscow Police Department asks for help finding a white 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra spotted near the murder scene. Investigators believe the occupant or occupants of the car may have “critical information to share.”

Bryan Kohberger pulled over twice

Dec. 15, 2022: Kohberger is pulled over twice within a nine-minute timespan on I-70 in Indiana. He wasn’t given a ticket for either traffic stop and was let go by authorities. Indiana State Police later released body camera footage of Kohberger’s second stop in a white Hyundai Elantra.

Residents remain resilient, on edge

Dec. 28, 2022: With no suspect in custody weeks after the Idaho murders, the small college town of Moscow remained on edge.

“It’s still very sad, scary, still locking our doors which is new, never did before,” Moscow resident Hans Winckler told NewsNation.

Meanwhile, Moscow police said only limited information about the investigation could be shared.

Bryan Kohberger arrested for killings

Dec. 30, 2022: Authorities in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, arrest Bryan Kohberger, 28, of Pullman, Washington, in connection with the Idaho college killings.

Kohberger, a Ph.D. criminology student at Washington State University, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary.

Sources confirmed to NewsNation’s Brian Entin that Kohberger was on suicide watch in the Pennsylvania jail where he was being held. At one point, the source says, Kohberger, who had a “blank stare,” asked officers whether anyone else was arrested.

Kohberger’s public defender at the time said Kohberger would not fight his extradition back to Idaho and is “eager to be exonerated.”

Gag order issued

Jan. 3, 2023: Latah County Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall issues a sweeping gag order related to the Idaho college killings case. The order prohibits attorneys, investigators and law enforcement personnel from talking with media outlets or issuing statements unless they are directly quoting a court document.

Idaho murder suspect extradited

Jan. 4, 2023: Kohberger is extradited to Idaho to face charges. The 28-year-old was taken to the Latah County Jail in Moscow, less than two miles from the site where the killings took place. He was previously held at Monroe County Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania and waived extradition at a Jan. 3 hearing.

Kohberger is formally charged in connection with the deaths of Goncalves, Mogen, Kernodle and Chapin. In his first court appearance, Kohberger is denied bail.

Affidavit reveals DNA led to Kohberger arrest

Jan. 5, 2023: The unsealed affidavit detailing allegations against Kohberger is released. Court records show that investigators identified Kohberger as the suspect through a combination of DNA evidence at the scene, cellphone records and the suspect’s white Hyundai Elantra.

Authorities said they found a “tan leather knife sheath” that had “a single source of male DNA left” on it. They compared the DNA sample to DNA belonging to Kohberger’s father from trash at the Kohberger family residence in Pennsylvania to show a familial link. This led to Kohberger’s arrest, according to the affidavit.

Students return to University of Idaho

Jan. 11, 2023: University of Idaho students go back to campus for the first day of class after winter break. The dean of students told NewsNation that most students who feared coming back to campus after the killings are now feeling safe enough to return.

Grand jury indicts Kohberger

May 17, 2023: A grand jury indicts Kohberger on four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary in connection to the killings — the same charges prosecutors announced in December.

Kohberger stands silent in court

May 22, 2023: Kohberger declines to enter a plea in court, instead electing to stand silent at his arraignment. That move led the judge to enter not guilty pleas for the murder and burglary charges Kohberger faces.

Gag order ‘vague in some areas’

June 23, 2023: An Idaho judge denied a request from multiple news outlets to lift a gag order in the Bryan Kohberger case, but he did narrow its restrictions. Judge John Judge said it’s well advised to keep attorneys involved in the case from making statements about it, but he called the original gag order that included barring law enforcement and others related to the case from talking with the press “overbroad and vague in some areas.”

Prosecutors seek death penalty for Kohberger

June 26, 2023: Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty against Kohberger. In a court notice, the state said it found several aggravating factors in the stabbing deaths, which is a requirement under Idaho law in the pursuit of the death penalty. If Kohberger is found guilty, jurors may have to consider that a punishment of the death penalty could mean there’s a possibility it could be carried out by firing squad following the passage of an Idaho bill.

Idaho house demolition delayed

July 12, 2023: The University of Idaho delays the demolition of the King Road house connected to the Idaho college killings. University President Scott Green said: “While we look forward to removing this grim reminder of this tragedy, we feel holding until October is the right thing to do.” Emails obtained by the New York Times indicate both prosecutors and the defense gave their consent for the house to be torn down.

Motion to dismiss Idaho case

July 25, 2023: Kohberger’s attorneys file a motion to dismiss the grand jury indictment against their client, arguing the grand jury was misled about the standard of proof, or what the state needs to convince jurors of to secure an indictment.

Kohberger ‘out driving alone’ alibi

Aug. 2, 2023: In a court filing, a defense attorney said Kohberger has “long had a habit of going for drives alone” and was doing just that at the time of the killings. “He was out, driving during the late night and early morning hours of November 12-13,” attorney Anne Taylor wrote. She later added: “Mr. Kohberger was out driving alone.”

According to the affidavit, cellphone records placed Kohberger near the crime scene at least a dozen times before the killings and back around the King Road house again from 9:12 a.m. to 9:21 a.m. on Nov. 13. There were also windows of time when his phone was believed to be out of service.

Right to speedy trial

Aug. 23, 2023: Kohberger waives his right to a speedy trial.

King Road house destruction postponed

Sept. 7, 2023: University of Idaho officials again decide to hold off on the destruction of the King Road house where the killings took place. This is the second time the university delayed the tear-down. A new demolition date was not released, but the university committed to wait to destroy the house until at least mid-December. Goncalves’ parents fought to pause the demolition, insisting it would be “good for the case.”

Kohberger trial pushed back

Oct. 2, 2023: This is the date Kohberger’s trial was originally scheduled to begin in Moscow. Kohberger’s move to waive his right to a speedy trial has pushed back the trial date.

Motion to dismiss rejected

Oct. 26, 2023: An Idaho judge denies Kohberger’s request to dismiss the indictment connected to the Idaho college killings. This means the indictment against the suspected killer stands.

The judge also decided to keep cameras in the courtroom though he will “take more control” of them, NewsNation’s Brian Entin reports.

FBI returns to Idaho killings house

Oct. 31, 2023: In a news release, the University of Idaho said Kohberger’s trial is delayed “indefinitely.” With the extension, the FBI returned to the King Road house to gather measurements and images as part of the quadruple homicide investigation.

Idaho college killings: One year later

Nov. 13, 2023: One year passes since the Idaho college killings that sent shockwaves through the Moscow community. Thousands of people gather at the University of Idaho to hold a vigil for the slain.

DNA deadline

Dec. 1, 2023: A critical DNA deadline is set for Dec. 1. A judge ordered prosecutors to turn over DNA evidence in the case by the date. Investigators used genetic genealogy, which looks at public DNA sites to build a family tree to narrow down a suspect, to identify Kohberger.

Grand jury indictment stands

Dec. 15, 2023: Second District Judge John Judge rules the grand jury indictment of Kohberger was conducted properly and will stand. Kohberger’s attorneys previously filed motions asking the judge to throw out the indictment.

Prosecutors push for summer trial

Dec. 2023: Prosecutors in the case against Kohberger asked for his trial to be scheduled for the summer of 2024. Their goal is to have the trial’s time frame avoid the academic calendar for the University of Idaho and surrounding high schools. The trial was initially scheduled for Oct. 2, 2023, but it was delayed indefinitely after Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial.

Idaho house destroyed

Dec. 28, 2023: The University of Idaho demolishes the home where four of its students were fatally stabbed. Neither the defense nor the prosecution contested the demolition, but at least two of the victims’ families argued the demolition should be postponed until after Kohberger’s trial.

Demolished Idaho home buried

Jan. 3: NewsNation learns exclusively that after the Idaho house was demolished, the remaining pieces of the home were taken to a solid processing facility and buried deep underground, due to concern that some people may try to take souvenirs from the scene.

Kohberger wants motion unsealed

Jan. 12: Attorneys for Kohberger asked the court in a Jan. 12 filing to unseal a motion to dismiss the case. The defense team argued the public has a right to be informed on the motion and pleadings, despite the gag order that’s in place in the case.

Kohberger tries to get charges thrown out for second time

Jan. 26: Kohberger makes a second attempt at getting charges against him thrown out, claiming there was improper conduct during the grand jury proceedings. The motion was later denied.

Kohberger’s defense team also pushed back against the possibility of having a summer trial, citing the overwhelming volume of evidence, including 51 terabytes of data, to be examined.

Kohberger lawyers want jury shipped in

Jan. 31: Kohberger’s defense filed a “change of venue” motion, but it doesn’t appear they’re asking to move the trial out of Latah County. Instead, they are asking to bring in jurors from outside the county, pointing to “extensive, inflammatory pretrial publicity” that may influence a local jury.

What’s next?

An official trial date has still not been set in the case. As families and friends of the Idaho four long for justice, the University of Idaho said, “The smiling faces and youthful exuberance of Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves will live in our memories forever.”

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Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. regular

U.S.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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