Judge John Judge in Moscow, Id., said the court would operate a livestream while barring members of the media and public from using cameras and audio recording devices in the courtroom for Bryan Kohberger’s trial, the Associated Press reports. Kohberger is accused of stabbing four University of Idaho students to death last year. The livestream will be available on the court’s YouTube channel. The judge had been allowing news cameras in the courtroom during hearings under strict conditions. On Friday, he granted a request by Kohberger’s attorneys to bar them. Judge wrote that some photographic and video coverage had zoomed in on Kohberger, despite his directive that shots show the entire courtroom, and that some shots depicted him entering or exiting the courtroom, despite orders that images be taken only when court is in session.
“It is the intense focus on Kohberger and his every move, along with adverse headlines and news articles, that leads the Court to conclude that continued photograph and video coverage inside the courtroom by the media should no longer be permitted,” Judge wrote. Judge said his order, which cannot be appealed, would balance the public’s interest with Kohberger’s right to a fair trial and the orderly administration of justice, because the court would not have to monitor who was recording images of what. Kohberger is charged with four counts of murder in connection with the deaths at a rental house near the university campus in Moscow last November. A judge entered a not-guilty plea on Kohberger’s behalf. Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson has said he intends to seek the death penalty. The case is scheduled for trial this fall.