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Trial Date Due For Man Charged With Killing Idaho Students

A judge may soon set a trial date for a man charged with killing four University of Idaho students more than a year and a half ago. Bryan Kohberger was arrested six weeks after the bodies of Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves were found stabbed to death at a rental home on Nov. 13, 2022. Police linked Kohberger, a graduate student at Washington State University, to the crime using DNA found on a knife sheath at the scene, surveillance videos and cellphone data. Kohberger’s defense attorneys and Latah County prosecutors have been wrangling over the evidence, reports the Associated Press. Judge John Judge said the case is complicated because prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty. Judge will hold a hearing June 27 to discuss the case's schedule.

Judge said investigators for Kohberger’s defense team would be added to a list of attorneys and defense experts who are allowed to review sealed DNA records that law enforcement used to narrow the the pool of suspects. The DNA was used for investigative genetic genealogy, in which material found at a crime scene is run through public genealogical databases to find a suspect or a suspect’s relatives. Judge said the defense team is not allowed to contact any relative who shows up in the records and who was not already known to them without permission from the court. Prosecutor Bill Thompson has argued that the DNA records were not relevant because they were not used to secure any warrants and would not be presented at trial. Judge said the defense had shown that it needed to review at least some of the records.


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