Idaho Murders Case: Judge Enters Not Guilty Plea for Bryan Kohberger

During Bryan Kohberger's arraignment on May 22, a judge entered a not guilty plea after the suspect, accused of fatally stabbing four Idaho college students, remained silent in court.

By Kisha Forde May 22, 2023 6:38 PMTags
Watch: Idaho Murders: Judge Enters Plea for Bryan Kohberger

A judge has entered a not guilty plea on Bryan Kohberger's behalf.
During his May 22 arraignment, Kohberger—who is accused of killing four University of Idaho college students in November—remained silent after being asked to enter a plea, according to NBC News. After his lawyer stood up and declined on his behalf, the judge was prompted to enter the not guilty plea on all murder charges as a result.

Kohberger's arraignment comes just five days after the graduate student was indicted on four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary. 

According to court documents obtained by E! News, an Idaho grand jury determined the 28-year-old "did unlawfully enter a residence" in the town of Moscow last November and "wilfully, unlawfully, deliberately, with premeditation and with malice aforethought, kill and murder" four college students: Maddie Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20.

Kohberger—a criminology graduate student at Washington State University—has denied any wrongdoing in the case.

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"It is a little out of character," the suspect's public defender told Today in January. "This is not him. He believes he's going to be exonerated. That's what he believes, those were his words."

Monroe County Correctional Facil/UPI/Shutterstock

One month after the killings, Kohberger was arrested at his family's Pennsylvania home on Dec. 30.

In a probable cause affidavit obtained by E! News in January, Moscow investigators linked Kohberger to the crime scene through security camera footage, information provided by one of the surviving witnesses in the house and a knife sheath.


Police found a knife sheath bearing male DNA at the scene of the crime, according to the affidavit. Lab tests were later gathered from that and from garbage located outside of Kohberger's family home.

According to the affidavit, the DNA "identified a male as not being excluded as the biological father" of the suspect.

According to NBC News, his four charges of first-degree murder carry sentences that could include life in prison to the death penalty.

(E!, Today and NBC News are part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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