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Suspect in University of Idaho Murders Indicted by Grand Jury

Suspect in University of Idaho Murders Indicted by Grand Jury

“the prosecutors’ decision to impanel a grand jury, which was not expected, allows the state to avoid the weeklong preliminary hearing that would have required it to present evidence before a judge”

Bryan Kohberger, the main suspect in the murder of four University of Idaho students in November, has been indicted by a grand jury and the case is headed for court.

This comes as no surprise, given some of the earlier reportage on the case.

NBC News reports:

Idaho college students slaying suspect Bryan Kohberger indicted by grand jury

An Idaho grand jury Tuesday indicted the man suspected in the fatal stabbings of four college students in November, paving the way for an arraignment on murder charges.

The indictment returned in Latah County against Bryan Kohberger, 28, says he “did unlawfully enter” a home in Moscow, Idaho, and then did “wilfully, unlawfully, deliberately, with premeditation and with malice aforethought, kill and murder” victims Maddie Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20.

A preliminary hearing in the case was originally scheduled for next month. Kohberger was arrested in December on four counts of first-degree murder and burglary, accused of breaking into the apartment house with the intent to commit a felony.

But the prosecutors’ decision to impanel a grand jury, which was not expected, allows the state to avoid the weeklong preliminary hearing that would have required it to present evidence before a judge, as well as permit the defense counsel to cross-examine witnesses.

Kohberger will be in court next week.

KREM News reports:

Bryan Kohberger indicted by grand jury, to appear in court on Monday

A grand jury in Idaho has indicted the man accused of murdering four University of Idaho students, eliminating the need for a preliminary hearing.

The Latah County District Court clerk confirms that Bryan Kohberger will now appear in court on Monday, May 22 at 9:00 a.m. where he will likely enter a plea.

The Latah County District Court clerk said the grand jury indicted Kohberger on all charges. With the grand jury indictment, the preliminary hearing, previously scheduled for June 26, has been canceled.

The indictment means the grand jury believes there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial. Idaho law requires the prosecution to prove there is enough evidence, either through a grand jury or a preliminary hearing.

The victims in this case were recently awarded degrees:


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E Howard Hunt | May 18, 2023 at 9:17 am

Even the quality of our thrill killers has declined. We have gone from the brilliant Leopold and Loeb to this bargain-basement, intellectual pigmy.

I have no idea whether the prosecutors got the right guy or not, but it does seem that prosecutors, generally, seem recently allergic to judicial review of their cases.

The diversion to use of secret grand jury proceedings suggests that the prosecutor perceives a weakness in the State’s case.

That suspicion would not have leapt to mind so quickly, if we had not had so many prominent, recent cases of abuse of prosecutorial discretion in high-profile cases.

    MosesZD in reply to Valerie. | May 20, 2023 at 10:34 am

    Not secret. It’s merely a procedural movement to move to the trial in an expeditious manner. This way, instead of fucking around for a week in Court and having having multiple, trial-delaying continuances by the defense, they can get right to the trial and present their overwhelming evidence.

    But if your brain is rotten with anti-government propaganda and conspiracy theories, I guess you’d take a banal and common practice and pretend it’s the (ominous music) DEEP STATE DOING BAD THINGS.

Perhaps you can explain why convening a grand jury is unexpected and, in conjunction, what is the big deal over the prosecutor foregoing a prelim?

    amatuerwrangler in reply to George S. | May 18, 2023 at 1:54 pm

    This varies somewhat state by state, but opting for a GJ has advantages for teh prosecution:
    1) There is no defense offered, or anyone from the defense in the room’
    1-a) The defense has no opportunity to see how strong a witness might be or the relative value to evidence presented. (All this is helpful in constructing a defense).
    2) Witnesses do not have to testify in public.

    Some states provide for a hearing following an indictment by GJ if requested by the defense. It is that way in CA, last time I was exposed to such. CA also has added the provision that at GJ or Preliminary Hearings, hearsay can be introduced, such as investigating officers can testify to what witnesses told them so the witness does not have to appear. This again, prevents defense from seeing a witness “live” and evaluating them. This also speeds the process along.

    This is usually seen as a good thing….. until you find yourself falsely accused and all of a sudden all these expediencies are working against you. You do not have to do anything in order to be false accused; you still have to ride the beef.

    Some of this may or may not apply to the Idaho case, however.

    Danny in reply to George S. | May 19, 2023 at 8:43 pm

    I obviously can’t speak for Valerie but I think she is fearful not because of anything in this case but because the grand jury is a purely and entirely vestigial institution that no longer performs a function. You could indict absolutely anyone for absolutely anything with the only thing an indictment means is that a prosecutor wanted one.