Bryan Kohberger, 28, faced a setback in court when his bid to have the murder charges against him dismissed was denied. Kohberger is charged with the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students in November. His defense, alleging grand jury bias, prosecutorial misconduct, and inadmissible evidence, termed “creative” by the judge, was ultimately found unconvincing.
On Thursday, the defense team held two hearings. The morning session, behind closed doors, revolved around alleged legal flaws tied to the grand jury indictment. The afternoon session centered on the defense’s claim that the grand jury had been misled about the burden of proof required for an indictment. They contended that the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard should have been applied, rather than “sufficient probable cause.” Judge John Judge, referencing Idaho Supreme Court’s longstanding adherence to the latter standard, dismissed this argument.
A significant portion of the hearing was also dedicated to the controversial presence of cameras in the courtroom. Despite objections from both the defense and the prosecution, Judge chose to continue allowing media coverage inside the court. He stressed the importance of restraint, cautioning against the media’s potential to tilt the case.
An attorney for one of the victims’ families asserted the importance of a public trial, stating, “It is important to the victims’ family, relatives, community members and the public that this veil of secrecy be lifted at trial.” The sentiment echoed the need for public faith in the justice system.
Judge noted the dual nature of media presence, recognizing its value and potential harm. He cautioned against the media attempting to try the case outside the courtroom’s evidence-based framework. While he emphasized the need for more control over cameras, he did not detail his proposed methods.
Kohberger, who had previously waived his right to a speedy trial, now awaits further proceedings.