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'This case is surrounded by secrecy' | Families of Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle plead for cameras in the courtroom

Before a hearing to decide if cameras will be allowed in the courtroom, two of the victims' families say they want the "veil of secrecy" to be lifted at trial.

MOSCOW, Idaho — The families of two University of Idaho students killed last November are asking a Latah County Judge to allow cameras in the courtroom when the man suspected of killing their loved ones goes to trial.

In a statement, the families of Kaylee Goncalves and Xana Kernodle shared their support for allowing cameras to broadcast the trial of Bryan Kohberger, the 28-year-old man accused of killing Goncalves, Kernodle, Ethan Chapin and Madison Mogen. The families stated they want the court to allow cameras in the courtroom to ensure accountability for everyone involved and to lift the "veil of secrecy" they believe is hanging over the case.

The statement from the Goncalves and Kernodle families was provided to KREM 2 by Shanon Gray, the Goncalves family attorney, and reads:

It is vitally important that this trial be open to the public to view and watch. There is an enormous amount of media coverage about this case (some good, some bad) and with that comes the responsibility of the Court to ensure a fair trial. The thing that is most overlooked in reviewing the motions filed by the State (who took no position in it’s original motion dated June 6, 2023-stating it relied on the discretion of the Court and now is taking a different position) and the Defense is faith in the justice system. 

This Case is surrounded by secrecy. Everything is either sealed or redacted. The family has not received any discovery on this case or any information about the facts of the case from the State. No one knows anything about the case which leads to speculation. That speculation is fueled by the secrecy surrounding everything that is filed and every hearing that is closed off to the media and the public. Only through independent investigation has the Family been able to get some information. 

So it is vitally important that the trial be viewed publicly! It is important to the victims family, relatives, community members and the public that this veil of secrecy be lifted at trial. This not only ensures accountability for all the parties involved but also helps the public maintain it’s faith in the justice system!

Kohberger filed a motion to ban cameras from the courtroom in June. In the memorandum, the defense said prohibiting cameras and limiting media coverage will protect the suspect's Sixth Amendment rights, prevent "unfairly prejudicial coverage" and prevent courtroom participants from being harassed or distracted.

The hearing regarding Kohberger's motion to ban cameras from the trial will take place at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13.

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