Idaho murders: Suspect Bryan Kohberger set to appear in court as he faces charges


(NEW YORK) — The suspect accused of murdering four University of Idaho students in November is set to appear in court Tuesday as he faces first-degree murder and burglary charges.

Bryan Kohberger, 28, a Ph.D. student at Washington State University’s department of criminal justice and criminology, will appear in a Monroe County, Pennsylvania, court to hear the charges and as the first step in his extradition to Idaho.

Kohberger’s parents and two sisters are planning to be in court, according to Kohberger’s attorney, Monroe County Chief Public Defender Jason LaBar.

LaBar said Kohberger “intends to waive his extradition hearing to expedite his transport to Idaho.” LaBar said Kohberger “is eager to be exonerated of these charges and looks forward to resolving these matters as promptly as possible.”

LaBar told ABC News that the death penalty is on the table.

Kohberger was arrested Friday in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains for the Nov. 13 murders of roommates Xana Kernodle, Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen, as well as Kernodle’s boyfriend, Ethan Chapin. The four victims were stabbed to death at the girls’ off-campus house in the middle of the night.

After Kohberger’s semester at Washington State ended this December, he and his father drove cross-country together, arriving at the family’s Pennsylvania home on Dec. 13, exactly one month after the murders, Monroe County Chief Public Defender Jason LaBar told ABC News.

They drove the pre-planned road trip in the white Hyundai Elantra which authorities said they were looking for in connection to the murders, according to LaBar.

The father and son were pulled over twice in Indiana, once for speeding and once for tailgating, LaBar said.

Police have not said what led them to Kohberger, but law enforcement sources told ABC News that authorities identified him as a suspect through public DNA genealogy databases.

The probable cause affidavit, which details the reasons for the arrest, is sealed and won’t be released until he returns to Idaho, Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson said.

Kohberger’s family said in a statement, “We care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children. There are no words that can adequately express the sadness we feel.”

“We will continue to let the legal process unfold and as a family we will love and support our son and brother,” the family said.

Steve Goncalves, dad of victim Kaylee Goncalves, said the arrest has brought relief and comfort.

It “felt like a cloud was lifted off of us,” he told Good Morning America. “All this torture of waiting had a purpose and a meaning.”

ABC News’ Kayna Whitworth, Luke Barr, Nick Cirone, Matt Foster and Christopher Looft contributed to this report.

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