Prosecutors ask judge to rescind partial stay in Bryan Kohberger case

Posted at 12:39 PM, July 18, 2023

By: Christine Coates

LATAH COUNTY, Idaho (Scripps News Boise) — The prosecution in the case against Bryan Kohberger is requesting specific deadlines be set for trial preparation in the latest court filings.

Prosecutors have also petitioned the court to rescind the additional 37-day extension granted earlier this month, unless Kohberger’s defense team waives the right to a speedy trial altogether.

Bryan Kohberger enters the courtroom

Bryan Kohberger enters the courtroom for a hearing Tuesday at the Latah County Courthouse in Moscow. (POOL)

In documents filed by the court on Monday, July 17, the prosecution in the case argued its case to rescind the temporary stay. The state says that granting this limited extension, in essence, sets precedence enabling the defense to ask for multiple limited delays without waiving the right to a speedy trial.

A defendant, after being indicted, has the right to be brought to trial within six months. The state argues that the law does not allow the defendant to partially waive this right. The state requests that the trial date remain October 2 and that if any delays are required, the defendant must waive his right to a speedy trial.

The state also claims that in allowing limited delays, the victims’ families, potential witnesses, and the prosecution, itself, are left in limbo. Predictability in trial dates is necessary to properly line up witnesses, especially those requiring travel arrangements, as well as to protect the record and avoid needless speedy trial litigation in the future.

RELATED: Judge issues temporary stay in Bryan Kohberger murder trial

Bryan Kohberger is escorted out of the courtroom following his arraignment

Bryan Kohberger is escorted out of the courtroom following his arraignment hearing in Latah County District Court, Monday, May 22, 2023, in Moscow, Idaho. Kohberger is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November 2022. (Zach Wilkinson/The Moscow-Pullman Daily News via AP, Pool)

In the rejection of the initial motion for a stay on July 10, the Court had noted that the request was premature and opened the door for the defense to re-submit a new motion requesting a stay later in the proceedings. The Court also, even though granting the additional 37 days with the agreement of upholding the statute of a speedy trial, kept the October 2 trial date, leaving the option of either party to request a date change before the October 2 date arrives.

The motion the State filed for scheduling orders is to clearly assign deadlines for both the State and the defense for discovery, challenges in evidence suppression and the death penalty, issues relating to juror questionnaires and instructions, witness lists, and for the scheduling of pretrial motions being heard.

Kohberger is facing charges of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary in the murders of four University of Idaho students, Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin, in November 2022.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Boise, an E.W. Scripps Company.