MOSCOW, Idaho (Court TV) — It’s looking like Bryan Kohberger won’t stand trial until the spring of 2025 — at the earliest.
At a scheduling hearing on Friday, Kohberger’s defense attorneys and prosecutors agreed that the sheer volume of evidence in discovery, which continues to come in, will require months of preparation ahead of trial.
Kohberger is accused of murdering four University of Idaho students in their home on Nov. 13, 2022. Investigators say he broke into the home on King Road and stabbed Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, Ethan Chapin and Kaylee Goncalves to death.
Friday was a full day of hearings for Kohberger, who appeared first at a sealed hearing which neither cameras nor the public were allowed to attend. That hearing addressed a renewed motion from the defense to dismiss the indictment, which Judge John Judge denied.
The second hearing, delayed approximately one hour from its originally scheduled 1 pm PT start time, began with Kohberger’s attorneys arguing for Judge Judge to reconsider his decision not to dismiss the indictment on separate grounds of inaccurate jury instructions. The judge denied the motion for a second time.
When the court took up the issue of scheduling the trial, Kohberger’s attorney said that she did not believe the trial would be completed within the current six-week forecast, estimating the process to take 12-15 weeks instead. She also asked that the trial not begin until summer 2025 because of the volume of discovery the team continues receiving.
“There is no possible way I can even read or watch everything I have now or react to things that are still coming in if we’re to have a deadline in time for a summer 2024 trial,” Anne Taylor, one of Kohberger’s attorneys, said in court. “As recently as January 4th, we received discovery that contained over 9,000 tips that law enforcement had obtained.”
Taylor also referenced the more than 50 terabytes of evidence that had previously been given to them in discovery, explaining that more than 500 hours of HD video can be contained in a single terabyte.
Prosecutor Bill Thompson agreed with the defense, saying that though they have made every attempt to hand over evidence expeditiously, outside agencies and experts are still working to go through everything.
Thompson asked for the judge to schedule the trial during the summer when schools are not in session, citing safety concerns as well as logistical concerns if the trial is held while the nearby high school and the University of Idaho are in session. When the judge asked if the prosecution was potentially looking to ask for a change of venue, Thompson clarified that he did not believe moving the case would be helpful because of the pervasive interest in the trial nationally.
The judge was hesitant to set a trial date so far away and said he would take the matter under advisement before issuing a ruling, and said that he would prefer to have the trial held sooner rather than later.
“When you’re talking about a date so long in the future, potentially, maybe we can get to a point where we can move it more quickly,” Judge said. “I’m not going to just let it hang for too long, but it’s really hard for me right now to set something in 2025, even though that might just be the reality.”
Kohberger faces a potential death sentence if he’s convicted of the murders.