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Man accused of Idaho student murders refuses to enter plea

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A man accused of stabbing to death four university students in their beds in Idaho last year has refused to enter a plea after appearing in court.

Criminology student Bryan Kohberger, 28, appeared at Latah County courtroom on Monday.

He spoke to confirm his name and other details, but stayed silent when he was asked to enter a plea.

District judge John Judge entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf and the case was adjourned.

It came after a grand jury formally charged Kohberger with four counts of murder and one count of burglary last week.

He is alleged to have killed housemates Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kernodle’s boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, 20, in the early hours of 13 November last year.

Two other female housemates were at home at the time of the attacks and were sleeping in their bedrooms.

One of them told investigators she woke up at 4am to the sound of crying and opened her door.

Read more:
Mystery of the four University of Idaho students killed in their beds
Moment police stopped Idaho suspect weeks before arrest

Kaylee Goncalves, Maddie Mogen and Xana Kernodle, and Xana's boyfriend Ethan Chapin
Image:
Victims Kaylee Goncalves, Maddie Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Xana’s boyfriend Ethan Chapin

She then stood in “frozen shock” as she saw a masked man, clad in black, walk past her and out of the house, court documents showed.

The housemate then locked herself in her room and went back to bed.

When the surviving housemates woke up the next morning they summoned other friends to the house and one of those friends called police believing the housemates to be unconscious.

It was only then they discovered the horrific crime scene.

Court documents revealed the DNA of Kohberger was found on the button of a knife sheath at the crime scene.

In the affidavit, police corporal Brett Payne said phone data also showed Kohberger visited the area near the home around a dozen times before the attack.

He said those apparent visits all occurred late in the evening or in the early hours.

At the time of the murders, Kohberger was working on a doctorate degree in criminal justice at Washington State University, about 10 miles (16km) from the University of Idaho campus, where the victims studied.

The suspect was stopped by police twice in Indiana on 15 December – just over a month after the murders and two weeks before his arrest.

Earlier this year Kohberger’s lawyer said he was eager to be exonerated and described him as “an ordinary guy”.

The judge scheduled Kohberger’s trial to begin on 2 October. He could face life in prison or the death penalty if convicted of murder.

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