STROUDSBURG,PENNSYLVANIA (AP) – A man facing first-degree murder charges in the slayings of four University of Idaho students last fall is not expected to fight extradition at a hearing yesterday in Pennsylvania, where he was captured at his parents’ home.
Authorities said, Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old doctoral student and teaching assistant in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University, was taken into custody early on Friday by state police in eastern Pennsylvania.
Monroe County’s chief public defender, Jason LaBar, said his client is eager to be exonerated and plans to tell a judge in Pennsylvania that he will waive his extradition hearing so he can be quickly taken to Idaho.
LaBar said his client should be presumed innocent and “not tried in the court of public opinion”.
Captain Anthony Dahlinger, of the Moscow Police Department in Idaho, told The Associated Press on Saturday that authorities believe Kohberger was responsible for all four murders.
He said, “We believe we’ve got our man,” adding that investigators obtained samples of Kohberger’s DNA directly from him after he was arrested.
His parents, Michael and Maryann, and his two older sisters, Amanda and Melissa, said in a statement released on Sunday by his attorney that they “care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children. There are no words that can adequately express the sadness we feel and we pray each day for them”.
They say they have fully cooperated with law enforcement to try to “seek the truth and promote his presumption of innocence rather than judge unknown facts and make erroneous assumptions”.
Latah County prosecutors in Idaho have said they believe Kohberger broke into the students’ home near the university campus intending to commit murder. Their bodies were found on November 13, several hours after investigators believe they died.
The students, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho, Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls, Idaho and Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington, were members of the university’s Greek system and close friends.