Inside look: Bryan Kohberger’s public hearing – Spoiler Alert: Cameras are in

Posted at 3:30 PM, October 27, 2023 and last updated 9:08 AM, October 27, 2023


MOSCOW, Idaho (Court TV) — Bryan Kohberger ’s public hearing over a defense motion challenging the grand jury instruction given to jurors lasted about 45 minutes, but the judge did reveal critical information about whether cameras would be permitted in Kohberger’s quadruple murder trial.

Bryan Kohberger in Court

Bryan Kohberger returned to court for two hearings on Thursday, where his attorneys asked a judge to dismiss the indictments against him or send his case back to a preliminary hearing on Oct. 26, 2023. (Court TV)

The televised hearing got off to a late start due to the preceding private session to discuss a separate motion to dismiss the indictment, which ran longer than expected.

  • Judge John Judge briefly mentioned the earlier hearing and apologized for it going longer than expected and stated the issues discussed were under seal because all grand jury matters are closed.
  • While the judge ruled in the public hearing denying Kohberger’s motion to dismiss the indictment, he did not say when he would make his rulings on the issues raised at the closed hearing regarding alleged grand jury bias, the presentation of inadmissible evidence, lack of sufficient evidence and prosecutorial misconduct by withholding exculpatory evidence.

READ MORE: Judge denies Bryan Kohberger’s motion to dismiss indictment

At the start of the public hearing, Judge John Judge spoke to the gallery about the issue of cameras at the Kohberger hearings, making it very clear that while he will not ban cameras in the courtroom, there will be limitations.

  • The judge stated only two cameras and a still photographer would be permitted to film the proceedings. That media organization will then disseminate the footage to the rest of the media. This is known as “POOL” in the media. Court TV was POOL for most of its gavel-to-gavel trials, including SC v. Alex Murdaugh, Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard and was also POOL in Thursday’s Kohberger hearing.
  • No video in the courtroom can be shot until the judge is on the bench or after he recesses the proceedings.
  • Absolutely no one can shoot cell phone video or use their smartwatches or other devices to shoot video in the courtroom.

Judge John Judge urged members of the public in the courtroom to use “dignity and restraint” and said he was disappointed by some of the things he had seen.

bryan kohberger appears in court

Bryan Kohberger, second from left, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November 2022, is escorted out of the courtroom as two of his attorneys, Anne Taylor, second from right, and Jay Logsdon, right, confer following a hearing in Latah County District Court, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Moscow, Idaho. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, Pool)

Bryan Kohberger’s attorney, Jay Logsdon, addressed the court for about 45 minutes about the defense motion challenging the standard of proof required for Idaho grand juries to indict.

Logsdon argued state laws require grand juries to be held to the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard of proof to indict, rather than the probable cause standard.

Similar to the defense motion obtained by Court TV, Logsdon’s argument was academic in nature, citing Idaho’s founding fathers, who wrote the state constitution in 1890, and field code from New York and California.

Jeff Nye, a special assistant of the attorney general addressed the court for no more than 5 minutes, arguing there was no precedent for Logsdon’s claims.

Judge John Judge seemed to enjoy Logsdon’s argument, but denied the motion, saying it was not in his jurisdiction as a trial judge and encouraged the defense to take their motion to the Idaho Supreme Court.