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Idaho Murder Case: Seen By A Jury And The World
Richard F Watts III
October 28, 2023
In November of 2022, the small town of Moscow, Idaho witnessed one of the most saddening and well-calculated murder cases in U.S. history. Four University of Idaho students were found dead by responding officers in an off-campus building. With no signs of forced entry or suspicious characters caught by security cameras, police were stumped but determined to find their suspect. The mystery man and lack of answers stirred a national frenzy as intrigue over the Idaho murders grew. Seven weeks later, police arrested a 28-year-old PhD student in Pennsylvania. Bryan Kohberger will stand trial for the murders but the case won’t only be seen by those in the courtroom.
Several high-profile cases have been broadcast for the world to see. Such cases include the Johnny Depp defamation trial, the OJ Simpson trial, the Casey Anthony trial, and the Ted Bundy trial. With national interest in mind, cases of this magnitude are often granted television access by the preceding judge. Both the prosecution and defense have been outspoken about removing camera access from this case while the victims' families have demanded cameras be inside the courtroom.
Thursday, Kohberger was back in the Latah County courtroom to argue why his case should be dismissed. Kohberger and his team believe his DNA was planted at the scene and they argue that the jury can not deliver an unbiased decision due to the case's celebrity. Judge John Judge denied Kohberger's dismissal. Shockingly, according to The Independent, Judge John Judge also granted camera access.
Court TV will broadcast the Idaho murder trial as soon as initial proceedings are underway. The inclusion of cameras has now brought this case into a very select group. Bryan Kohberger and his team will now have to prove his innocence to the national public audience. Cases of this magnitude have often garnered pressure to find the defendant guilty. The Casey Anthony case was seen as very cut and dry. The public opinion believed she was guilty before, during, and still even after a jury found her not guilty of first-degree murder. The concern of an unbiased jury decision, shared by both the prosecution and defense, must now have grown larger as any decision other than guilty will surely see backlash for Kohberger and his family. The media aspect may also take away from legal proceedings. The media presence in the OJ Simpson trial began crafting narratives other than a man on trial for murder. Marcia Clark, who served as lead counsel, was harassed in the media about her appearance. The media transformed the case into a reality television show. Kohberger's defense team surely has a lot on their plate.
Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial to allow his defense team to better prepare themselves for the lengthy battle to prove his innocence. Kohberger is charged with the murder of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin. Police have linked Kohberger to the crime through DNA evidence, phone records, and eyewitness accounts. Kohberger's white Hyundai Elantra was seen traveling at high speeds towards Moscow the night of the murders. With no set date, the trial is estimated to begin sometime in 2024.
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