MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — Bryan Kohberger, a suspect in the murders of four University of Idaho students, intends to expedite the extradition process back to Idaho from Pennsylvania, where he was taken into custody Friday.
A statement released Saturday from Kohberger's public defense attorney, Jason LaBar, says that his client "is eager to be exonerated" and "looks forward to resolving these matters as soon as possible." He intends to waive his extradition hearing set for Tuesday to speed up the transport process, it says.
"Mr. Kohberger has been accused of very serious crimes, but the American justice system cloaks him in a veil of innocence. He should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise - not tried in the court of public opinion. One should not pass judgment about the facts of the case unless and until a fair trial in court at which time all sides may be heard and inferences challenged," the statement says.
Kohberger, 28, is charged with four counts of murder and one count of felony burglary "with intent to murder," according to Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson, in the homicides of Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee GonCalves -- who were all stabbed to death in an off-campus home in the early hours of Nov. 13.
Kohberger was found in a residential area near the Poconos mountains in Pennsylvania and arrested based on a "fugitive from justice" warrant, according to PA State Police -- the agency and Moscow Police were working together to bring Kohberger into custody. He is currently being held in the Monroe County Correctional Facility.
Kohberger is a teacher's assistant and graduate student in criminology at Washington State University in Pullman, according to WSU's website. Pullman just a 15-minute drive across the border from Moscow, where the murders took place. WSU has since removed the graduate listings that included Kohberger out of privacy for their students.
Before attending WSU, Kohberger graduated in June of 2022 from DeSales University in Pennsylvania, the university confirmed Friday.
Seven months ago, a Reddit post (which was later removed) appeared on the sub-Reddit "Ex-Cons" by a person with the name Bryan Kohberger who said he was a "student investigator" at DeSales University. The person included contact information with a school email address, asking for help with a research project.
The project required him to reach out to people who have been arrested.
"My name is Bryan, and I am inviting you to participate in a research project that seeks to understand how emotions and psychological traits influence decision-making when committing a crime," he wrote. "In particular, this study seeks to understand the story behind your most recent criminal offense, with an emphasis on your thoughts and feelings throughout your experience."
The survey included questions about the "feeling" of the person committing the crime, how they approached their victim and how they left the scene.
There is no known connection by Kohberger to the victims at this time. Police are not releasing a possible connection or how they reached Kohberger as their suspect due to the ongoing investigation. More information will be released when Kohberger returns to Idaho, police said.
Investigators were previously searching for a white Hyundai Elantra seen in the area at the time, of which Moscow Police Chief James Fry said in a Friday press conference that they, "have located an Elantra."
The murder weapon has still not been found, as of Friday, Dec. 30 -- but police have been searching an apartment believed to be Kohberger's, as well as his TA office in Wilson-Short Hall on the WSU campus.
If Kohberger waives his extradition hearing, he could be transported to Idaho much more quickly than expected.
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