BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A man charged with stabbing to death four University of Idaho students is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday. The day after undergraduate classes resumed. Until recently, many undergraduates were horrified by the incident.
Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old Washington State University graduate student who was indicted in the case, has yet to file a petition, and it remains unclear whether prosecutors in the high-profile case will pursue the death penalty. waiting for Thursday’s hearings are status meetings and often deal with scheduling court dates.
Nearly two months after the murder of four students near campus, and two weeks after Coberger was arrested and indicted, the picturesque school grounds are starting to feel a little more normal. I was there.
On Wednesday, the first day of classes after winter break, students were once again striding across the university’s icy sidewalks and crowding the campus food court.
University spokesperson Jody Walker said there was a general sense of relief.
“Students are back and enrollment is going well,” said Walker. “I think everyone is happy to be back under these circumstances. They are relieved to be arrested and ready to focus on the semester.”
The November 13 murders of Madison Morgen, Cary Gonsalves, Xana Carnold, and Ethan Chapin left the rural community of Moscow, Idaho, grief-stricken, horrified, and nearly half of the university’s students is out of town in search of the safety of an online course.
Weeks passed without a suspect identified and few details were revealed, but on December 30, Coberger, a Ph.D. Arrested at his parents’ home in the East. Coberger was handed over to Idaho last week.
It’s too early to tell exactly how many students have decided to go back to face-to-face classes, Walker said. Given.
Professor Christopher Williams said it was busier than in recent weeks when he stopped by the student union for lunch at the food court.
“It looked a lot busier than I saw, especially towards the end of the last semester,” he said.
Students will have the opportunity to sign up for a series of extracurricular self-defense classes and various violence prevention and safety planning programs, Walker said. The campus still has additional security, as well as ongoing counseling and other support services for students.
But despite the frightening circumstances of the last semester, the students feel rallied and determined to succeed, Walker said.
“There is no doubt that we will reduce what happened, but we are finding a way forward,” she said.
The Latter County Jail, where Coberger is being held without bail, is about a 20-minute walk from campus.
During Thursday’s court appearance, the magistrate is expected to discuss scheduling with attorneys and prosecutors.
In some cases, decisions are made in situational meetings that change the trajectory of an incident. For example, a defendant may waive their right to a speedy trial or agree to skip a preliminary hearing, but often meetings are about future court agreements and the like. Discuss dates, the number of days each side will need to present testimony, or ensure both sides have access to the necessary evidence.
The next major court appearance could be a preliminary hearing, and prosecutor Bill Thompson hopes to show magistrates there’s enough evidence to justify moving forward with felony charges. If the magistrate agrees, the case will be “bound” in Idaho’s Second District Court, and the district judge will take over the felony case. Coberger then gets a chance to file an indictment. If he pleads not guilty, the case will move to trial. If he pleads guilty, a sentencing hearing will be set.
However, there is no guarantee that a preliminary hearing will take place. Defendants often agree to skip preliminary hearings for all sorts of reasons, and skipping one does not constitute a plea of guilt. Similarly, if a defendant loses a preliminary hearing, the defendant is legally presumed innocent and cannot take advantage of the preliminary hearing when the case is brought to trial.
Prosecutors have not yet disclosed whether they will seek the death penalty in Koberger’s case. A formal notification must be submitted.
The magistrate also issued a gag order barring lawyers and related agencies from speaking about the case.
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