The murder trial of Bryan Kohberger, the former Ph.D. The criminology student suspected of killing four University of Idaho students in a brutal attack a year ago will be given a live broadcast, a judge has ruled.
Idaho District Judge John Judge granted Mr Kohberger's request to remove media cameras from the courtroom – but ruled that any future public proceedings would continue to be streamed live on the court's YouTube channel using his equipment.
The decision comes just a week after the one-year anniversary of the tragic murders and after months of anticipation for the highly publicized case.
Mr. Kohberger, who turns 29 this week, is charged in the Nov. 13, 2022, fatal stabbings of Kaylee Goncalves, 21, and Madison Mogen, 21, Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20, at a home off campus in Moscow, Idaho. . Investigators say DNA evidence on a military knife sheath found near Mogen's body at the home linked Koberger to the scene.
“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 media coverage of photos and videos inside the courtroom should no longer be permitted.” the judge wrote. the decision.
In September, Mr. Kohberger's lawyers asked for the cameras to be banned from the Latah County courtroom. The judge said he was not concerned about the act of recording himself, but how the video might be viewed by the news media and social media. Commentators “talk about it,” he said at the time, and “a lot of times it's not very accurate.”
The new order means members of the media and public will not be allowed to record their own video, audio or take photographs of future hearings.
But a live stream of the proceedings will be available via the judge's YouTube channel.
“This will help alleviate concerns raised by both the defense and the state, but at the same time ensure that the public will still have access to see the proceedings for themselves if they are unable to attend the hearings in person,” it says. the decision.
The judge also rejected a media coalition's motion to intervene in the case. He accused the media of violating his requests not to zoom in exclusively on Mr. Kohberger's face and not to record before or after the court session.
“Furthermore, defense counsel raised ongoing concerns with videos and photographs capturing private documents on counsel's whiteboards. This is again in violation of the directions of the Court,” the order continued.
“The State has also raised issues of vulnerable victims and witnesses being filmed during testimony. At this juncture, the Court has no confidence that instructions to cease photography or videotaping during such a deposition will be followed.”
In the ruling, the judge cited the high-profile “Doomsday Cult” case of mom Lori Vallow to support his decision.
“As noted by District Judge Steven W. Boyce in the Decision and Order Prohibiting Video and Photographic Coverage in State of Idaho v. Lori Norene Vallow aka Lori Norene Vallow Daybell.[a]Agreement between the state and the defense on any issue in a capital case is rare, further confirming to the Court the legitimacy and level of concern that defense attorneys have raised.” The same is true in this case.”
In May, Kohberger refused to enter a plea at his trial, prompting a judge to plead not guilty on his behalf to four counts of first-degree murder and another count of felony burglary. He could face death by firing squad if convicted.
In August, Mr. Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial, delaying the proceedings indefinitely.
On October 27, Mr. Kohberger appeared in court for a motion to dismiss the indictment against him.
The defense argued that the grand jury that brought the indictment was improperly subpoenaed.
The judge disagreed, ruling that the indictment would stand.