Idaho murders suspect Bryan Kohberger to face new mystery court hearing

A mystery new court hearing has been scheduled in the case against University of Idaho murders suspect Bryan Kohberger.

The 28-year-old criminology PhD student is set to appear in Latah County Courthouse in Idaho for a motion hearing on 25 May, the court clerk confirmed to The Independent on Monday.

The purpose of the hearing is yet to be revealed, with court documents expected to be published online later in the day.

Mr Kohberger was next scheduled to appear in court on 26 June for a week-long preliminary hearing where evidence will be presented for the first time about his alleged involvement in the mass murder of four students. That hearing will still go ahead as planned on that date.

The scheduling of the new date comes days after one of the surviving roommates agreed to an interview with Mr Kohberger’s attorneys after a brief legal battle.

Students Bethany Funke and Dylan Mortensen were both inside the off-campus home when their three roommates Xana Kernodle, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, and Kernodle’s boyfriend Ethan Chapin, 20, were brutally stabbed to death back on 13 November.

Last month, Mr Kohberger’s defence team subpoenaed Ms Funke to give testimony at the June preliminary hearing, claiming that she had information which is “exculpatory to the defendant”.

It is unclear what evidence the defence team believes Ms Funke can offer in the case but she initially pushed back on the need to appear.

Now, the 21-year-old has agreed to instead meet with Mr Kohberger’s attorneys in her hometown of Reno, Nevada, for an interview instead of appearing at the hearing. It is unclear when the interview will take place.

Mr Kohberger is accused of stabbing the four victims to death in a horror attack that sent shockwaves throughout the college campus.

Over a month later on 30 December, Mr Kohberger was arrested at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania and charged with their murders.

Bryan Kohberger looks toward his attorney, public defender Anne Taylor, right, during a hearing in Latah County District Court on 5 January in Moscow, Idaho (Getty Images)
Bryan Kohberger looks toward his attorney, public defender Anne Taylor, right, during a hearing in Latah County District Court on 5 January in Moscow, Idaho (Getty Images)

No motive has been given for the horror knife attack and officials have not confirmed what connection Mr Kohberger had – if any – to the victims.

The affidavit, released in January, revealed that investigators believe Mr Kohberger may have stalked the student home in the run-up to the mass murder, with cellphone data placing him around the property 12 times before 13 November.

Then, at around 4am on 13 November – after the students returned from enjoying Saturday nights out partying – investigators say he entered the home and stabbed the victims to death. Two other roommates were left unharmed in the home.

As well as cellphone data, the affidavit reveals that other evidence also led them to arrest Mr Kohberger for the student murders.

Police said that his DNA was also found on a knife sheath left behind at the scene by the killer and his white Hyundai Elantra was caught on surveillance footage at the crime scene at the time of the murders, the affidavit reveals.

One of the surviving roommates was also able to partially describe the killer after she came face to face with him – masked, dressed in head to toe black and with bushy eyebrows – as he left the home in the aftermath of the murders.

In January, police in Washington unsealed search warrants for Mr Kohberger’s apartment in Pullman and his office at Washington State University (WSU).

The searches were carried out on 30 December – the same day that he was taken into police custody in Pennsylvania.

The unsealed documents reveal that investigators seized a string of items from his home including possible human and animal hair strands, a disposable glove, items with red and brown stains and a computer.

No items were seized from his office which he shared with other PhD students.

The murder weapon – a fixed-blade knife – was not recovered during the searches and it has still never been found.

The student home where the four victims were murdered in November (AP)
The student home where the four victims were murdered in November (AP)

As a criminal justice PhD student at WSU, Mr Kohberger lived just 15 minutes from the victims over the Idaho-Washington border in Pullman. He had moved there from Pennsylvania and began his studies there that summer, having just completed his first semester before his arrest.

Before this, he studied criminology at DeSales University – first as an undergraduate and then finishing his graduate studies in June 2022.

While there, he studied under renowned forensic psychologist Katherine Ramsland who interviewed the BTK serial killer and co-wrote the book Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer with him.

He also carried out a research project “to understand how emotions and psychological traits influence decision-making when committing a crime”.

Now, he is facing life in prison or the death penalty for the murders that have rocked the small college town of Moscow and hit headlines around the globe.