MOSCOW, Idaho (Court TV) — Teams representing Bryan Kohberger‘s defense will visit the scene where four college students were brutally murdered in the final days before it’s demolished.
Kohberger is charged with burglary and murder and faces a potential death sentence if convicted for the murders of Kaylee Goncalves, Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen and Xana Kernodle on Nov. 13, 2022. The four were found stabbed to death in their home near the campus of the University of Idaho, which they attended.
On Thursday, the University of Idaho, which purchased the property following the murders, said that it would begin to demolish the house on Dec. 28, after Kohberger’s defense team accessed it one final time.
Prosecutors and Kohberger’s defense had “no objection” to the home’s demolition, which was initially announced in February. The University of Idaho initially said that it had wanted to demolish the home before the start of the 2023 fall semester but delayed plans because of the trial’s scheduled start date.
School officials said that teams representing Kohberger’s defense would access the house on King Road on Dec. 14 and 15 and that “The defense indicated they want to take photographs, measurements and possibly gather drone footage of the house.”
Demolition of the house is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. on Dec. 28 and “may take several days.”
“It is the grim reminder of the heinous act that took place there,” University President Scott Green said of the property. “While we appreciate the emotional connection some family members of the victims may have to this house, it is time for its removal and to allow the collective healing of our community to continue.”
Some of the victims’ families have been vocal in their opposition to the destruction of the house. In a post on Facebook on Thursday night after news about the demolition was released, Kaylee Goncalves’ father said, “Today was especially hard, because we were nmotified that they plan on tearing down the house on Deember 28th…just 3 days after Christmas. Here is the thing with the house, I get it, ‘it’s an eyesore, it makes the community and college sad, it’s a house of horrors’, so on, so forth. Yes, Kaylee unfortunately died in that house, but more importantly KAYLEE LIVED a fun, happy life in that house. So, my point is, when the house is torn down, it will be a very sad day for me. Salt in a wound that never heals.”
The university has announced plans to create a healing garden and memorial on campus in memory of the four students.