Idaho Murder Case: Truth About Bryan Kohberger’s Social Media Stalking Allegations Revealed

Idaho murder case prosecutors agreed that Bryan Kohberger—who's accused of killing four university students in November 2022—didn't stalk one of the victims on social media before their death.

By Leah Degrazia Apr 16, 2024 11:47 PMTags
Watch: Idaho Murders Case Update: Bryan Kohberger Plans to Call 400 Witnesses in Trial

Bryan Kohberger is off the hook for one allegation. 

The 29-year-old, who has been accused of murdering four University of Idaho students back in November 2022, did not stalk one of the victims before their deaths, both the prosecution and defense agreed during an April 10 court hearing, according to the Idaho Statesman.

In fact, Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson said the allegation of him stalking one of the college students—Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20—was simply "false."

Lawyers on both sides also denied reports that Kohberger followed one of the victims on social media.

But while the stalking claims were laid to rest by both sides, prosecutors weren't in agreement with the defense's request to move the trial to a new location due to concerns over how media attention surrounding the case could affect potential jurors. 

"The state is coming from a position of being practical and trying to use common sense here," Thompson told the court April 10, per the Idaho Statesman. "It seems the position of the defense is it is OK to risk tainting additional jurors in order to ascertain bias of other potential jurors, and I'm not sure that's the way this court should do business."

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However, Kohberger's attorney Elisa Massoth argued the public could already be biased, saying in court, "You can't taint what's tainted."

"Latah County citizens have accepted the information placed before them by state actors," she added. "This is all information that's put out into the media, and having the state now claim this moral high ground is an oxymoron."

The hearing's developments come less than two months after a February appearance in court revealed Bryan plans to call 400 witnesses to take the stand during his legal proceedings. During that meeting, Kohberger's defense also requested a cell tower investigation to help build an alibi, potentially delaying the case for a second time after he previously waived his right to a speedy trial

Photo by Ted S. Warren-Pool/Getty Images

In response, state prosecutors urged the judge to deny the asks.  

"It frankly causes the state great alarm that the defense is discussing calling upwards of 400 witnesses during the innocence phase," a deputy prosecutor told Judge John Judge during the Feb. 28 hearing, according to Fox News, "when we potentially don't have a full alibi disclosure."

Kohberger is on trial over accusations that he fatally stabbed Goncalves, Mogen, Kernodle and Chapin at an off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho, in the early hours of Nov. 13, 2022. After being taking into custody and extradited to Idaho a little over a month after the killings, the Pennsylvania criminology Ph.D. student was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary in regards to the students' deaths.

In May, the judge entered not guilty pleas on Kohberger's behalf. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

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