No trial date set as Bryan Kohberger pushes for change of venue

Posted at 5:15 PM, February 28, 2024 and last updated 5:16 PM, February 28, 2024

MOSCOW, Idaho (Court TV) — Bryan Kohberger appeared in court for a hearing on Wednesday where a judge declined to set a date for him to stand trial for the murders of four University of Idaho students.

Bryan Kohberger enters the courtroom for a motion hearing

Bryan Kohberger enters the courtroom on Friday, June 9, 2023, in Latah County District Court in Moscow, Idaho. (Zach Wilkinson/Moscow-Pullman Daily News via AP, Pool)

Kohberger has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and burglary in the brutal stabbing deaths of Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, who were killed in an off-campus rental home on Nov. 13, 2022.

At a motions hearing in Kohberger’s case on Wednesday afternoon, the defense and prosecution discussed a number of issues with the judge, including an anticipated trial date. While Judge John Judge had previously indicated his desire to get the trial started sooner rather than later, Kohberger’s attorneys said they simply could not be ready by the prosecution’s proposed date of March 3, 2025.

The prosecution had previously requested that the trial be held in 2025, specifically in summer so that the nearby high school and University of Idaho would not be in session. At Wednesday’s hearing, Kohberger’s attorneys said that the sheer volume of discovery and the difficulty they’ve had in talking to witnesses mean they will not be ready before June 2025.

Judge Judge scheduled a hearing for May 14 for a hearing on a defense motion to move the trial out of Latah County as well as to bring in an outside jury pool. In their motion, Kohberger’s attorneys argue that “the size of the community and the interconnectedness of its citizenry is problematic and will prevent a fair and impartial pool of potential jurors.” The trial’s location was briefly brought up at a Jan. hearing, where prosecutor Bill Thompson told the judge that he believed that national and international interest in the case made moving the trial a poor choice. Thompson reiterated his belief at Wednesday’s hearing, saying, “We know there’s publicity. Everyone can agree there’s been massive publicity. But I see more about it in Boise than I’ve seen locally.”

Judge Judge said that he would make a more “informed” decision about a future trial date after hearing arguments from both sides on May 14.