The judge in the murder case of four University of Idaho students ordered the appointment of a death-qualified co-counsel for defendant Bryan Kohberger on Tuesday, signaling the possibility he will receive a death sentence if convicted.
Kohberger, 28, is accused of four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle, all of whom attended the University of Idaho and were found stabbed to death in a Moscow home on Nov. 13, 2022.
Kohberger’s attorney filed a motion on Thursday to appoint a death-qualified co-counsel, which Judge Megan Marshall approved. Though Latah County prosecutors have not yet stated they will seek the death penalty, the defense’s motion shows they expect them to take that course.
Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial. His preliminary hearing, in which the court will decide if there is sufficient evidence against the accused to move forward with a trial, is scheduled for June 26.
The last convict executed in Idaho was Richard Leavitt in 2012, convicted for murder in 1984.
The state has eight inmates on death row. Gerald Pizzuto Jr. is scheduled to be executed on March 23.