Idaho prosecutors have asked for students stabbing suspect Bryan Kohberger's quadruple murder trial to take place over six weeks this summer, with shortened hours and no extra time for the defendant to come up with an alibi.
Latah County's senior deputy prosecuting attorney, Ashley Jennings, filed the four-page request Thursday morning, days after the judge rejected the 29-year-old Kohberger's attempts to dismiss the indictment against him. It became publicly available later in the day.
Prosecutors want the trial scheduled while school is out for local high school students and the victims' classmates at the University of Idaho on the edge of town, reasoning that a summer trial would alleviate concerns about parking and pedestrian safety with the local high school next to the courthouse.
MOSCOW, IDAHO - OCTOBER 26: Bryan Koberger listens during a hearing to overturn his grand jury indictment on October 26, 2023 in Moscow, Idaho. Kohberger, a former criminology PhD student, was indicted earlier this year in the November 2022 killings
A trial with the university out of session would leave more room in hotels for people visiting town for the proceedings, Jennings argued.
The University of Idaho's academic calendar shows next year's spring semester ends in the second week of June.
Jennings also asked the court for shortened days, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT.
"For a trial of this length, it is appropriate to afford jurors some amount of time to tend to their personal affairs," the filing reads. "Additionally, having more time in the afternoon allows for better preparation by the parties and allows for reasonable opportunities and time for the Court and counsel to address any motions or other matters that routinely arise during the course of jury trials."
Jennings also asked District Judge John Judge to set key pretrial deadlines, including for discovery, expert disclosures, witness lists and pretrial motions.
"The State submits that the Defendant has already been afforded this opportunity and the Court heard argument on the motions relating to such," Jennings wrote. "The State submits the opportunity for the Defendant to disclose an alibi and notify the State of the same has passed and asks that the Court not reopen this issue."
Kohberger's defense wrote in court filings over the summer that the murder suspect had a habit of driving around alone in the middle of the night.
"Often he would go for drives at night," the filing reads. "He did so late on November 12 and into November 13, 2022. Mr. Kohberger is not claiming to be at a specific location at a specific time; at this time there is not a specific witness to say precisely where Mr. Kohberger was at each moment of the hours between late night November 12, 2022 and early morning November 13, 2022. He was out, driving during the late night and early morning hours."
Ethan Chapin, 20, Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, along with the women's two other roommates in Kaylee Goncalves' final Instagram post, shared the day before the slayings. (@kayleegoncalves/Instagram)
Kohberger is accused of entering a six-bedroom house on King Road in Moscow, Idaho, around 4 a.m. on Nov. 13, 2022 and killing four students inside.
The victims were Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, both 21; and Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, both 20.
Two others in the house survived, including one who heard crying and saw a masked man with "bushy eyebrows" leave out the back door.
Police found a knife sheath under Mogen's body that they say had Kohberger's DNA on it. Authorities also cited phone records and surveillance video showing Kohberger's white Hyundai Elantra in a probable cause affidavit last year.
At the time of the murders, Kohberger was studying for a Ph.D. in criminology at Washington State University, just 10 miles from Moscow, Idaho.
Judge Judge entered not guilty pleas on Kohberger's behalf at his arraignment in May. He could face the death penalty if convicted.