Idaho Murders

Bryan Kohberger is accused of murdering four University of Idaho students in November

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Bryan Kohberger.

Kohberger, 28, a former Washington State University graduate student in criminology, is accused of stabbing Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, in their off-campus apartment on Nov. 13, 2022. He was arrested on December 30 after a six-week investigation and charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary. 

“The State gives this notice based on the fact that it has not identified or been provided with any mitigating circumstances sufficient to prohibit the triers of fact from considering all penalties authorized by the Idaho legislature including the possibility of a capital sentence,” prosecutors said in a court filing submitted on Monday. “Consequently, considering all evidence currently known to the State, the State is compelled to file this notice of intent to seek the death penalty.”

Last month, a judge entered not guilty pleas on behalf of the suspect. When the judge asked Kohberger’s attorney whether he was prepared to plead to the charges, the attorney said she and Kohberger would be “standing silent.” This prompted the judge to enter “not guilty” pleas on Kohberger’s behalf.

According to an affidavit, Kohberger was connected to the crime after allegedly leaving behind DNA evidence on a knife sheath found at the scene. Police linked Kohberger to a car of interest seen around the house at the time of the murders, confirmed his presence near the home using cell phone data, and matched his DNA using trash from his home police recovered with a search warrant.  


The targeted killing of the four students garnered widespread public attention. A judge issued a gag order in January, forbidding attorneys, law enforcement, and others in the case from speaking about it outside of court proceedings. The gag order was later narrowed in June.