Court Battles

Lawyer: Suspect in University of Idaho slayings believes he’ll be exonerated

This photo provided by Monroe County (Pa.) Correctional Facility shows Bryan Kohberger. Arrest paperwork filed by Pennsylvania State Police in Monroe County Court, Friday, Dec. 30, 2022, said Kohberger, 28, was being held for extradition in a criminal homicide investigation in the killings of four University of Idaho students, based on an active arrest warrant for first degree murder issued by the Moscow Police Department and Latah County Prosecutor’s Office. (Monroe County (Pa.) Correctional Facility via AP)

The suspect accused of fatally stabbing four University of Idaho students believes he’ll be exonerated, his attorney told NBC.

Jason LaBar, the public defender representing Bryan Kohberger, said on the “Today” show that Kohberger said he did not commit the November stabbings, which gained national attention as police looked for a suspect for weeks before arresting Kohberger last week.

“It is a little out of character. He said this is not him,” LaBar said on NBC. “He believes he’s going to be exonerated. That’s what he believes. Those were his words. So he’s really been very easy to talk to, actually, and he’s in a calm demeanor.”

Authorities arrested Kohberger at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania on Friday, and he is scheduled to appear at an extradition hearing in Monroe County on Tuesday afternoon. He was seen entering the Pennsylvania courthouse earlier on Thursday, NewsNation reported. NewsNation is owned by Nexstar, which also owns The Hill.

LaBar indicated Kohberger would likely sign the extradition paperwork, which would pave the way for him to be transferred to Idaho for further proceedings.

Kohberger, 28, faces four counts of first-degree murder and a felony burglary charge filed in Idaho in connection with the incident.

He is accused of killing Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20. The four Idaho students were found dead in a rental property near campus on Nov. 13.

Kohberger’s family issued a statement on Sunday indicating it was cooperating with law enforcement to promote his “presumption of innocence” in the case.

“They don’t believe it to be Bryan. They can’t believe this,” LaBar said on NBC. 

“They’re obviously shocked,” he added. “This is currently completely out of character, the allegations. And really they’re just trying to be supportive with the understanding these four families have suffered loss so that they’re sympathetic towards that. And that’s why it should remain really private, and they don’t want to try this case in the court of public opinion.”

Tags Bryan Kohberger University of Idaho Stabbings

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