Idaho murder house victims’ families will seek the death penalty for accused killer Bryan Kohberger after experts speculated his ‘standing silent’ during court hearing was to keep plea deal option open
- The attorney for Goncalves’ family said that their family support the death penalty in this case
- Bryan Kohberger, 28, is accused of murdering Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin on November 13, 2022
Two of the Idaho quadruple murder victims’ families will seek the death penalty for the college students’ alleged killer, an attorney has said.
Bryan Kohberger, 28, is accused of murdering Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin on November 13, 2022. He stayed silent when asked to give a plea at a hearing last week.
Now, the attorney for Goncalves’ family said that their family, as well as Mogen’s family, support the death penalty in this case following the grizzly murders.
They are filing notices indicating their desire to seek capital punishment during the trial, reports NewsNation.
Shanon Gray, the Goncalves family’s attorney told NewsNation: ‘We spoke with the prosecutor on the case, Mr. Thompson. He’s going to meet with all the families individually, and then make a decision based on that.
Best friends Kaylee (left) and Madison were discovered dead in bed next to each other
Kohberger sat silently as Judge John Judge read his rights and reiterated that he faces the death penalty if found guilty of any of the murder charges before responding ‘yes’ when asked if he understood repeatedly
Steve and Kristi Goncalves, the parents of Kaylee Goncalves, who was killed in her college home
‘So, the Goncalves family obviously supports the death penalty in this case.’
This comes just days after the families of Goncalves and Mogen filed legal documents that suggest they could sue the city of Moscow for damages, according to the notices filed to the city dated May 3 and 11.
Shanon Gray, an attorney representing the two families, told ABC News that while no lawsuit had yet been filed, the claims would allow them to sue within two years.
Shanon Gray (pictured) the Goncalves family’s attorney, said: ‘The family obviously supports the death penalty in this case’
Kohberger, who is accused of savagely knifing four college students to death last November – leaving a scene police described as ‘the worst we’ve ever seen’ – appeared in court in Moscow, Idaho, last week where he refused to enter a plea to four counts of murder in the first degree.
Criminology student Kohberger, 28, had been expected to plead not guilty but instead, chose to use Idaho’s ‘standing silent’ plea which means he has not pleaded either way but can still be tried.
The trial date has been set for October 2.
Experts said that him refusing to give a plea was a way for him to potentially keep plea deal option open as the trial progresses.
Kohberger had been due to face a preliminary hearing but in a surprise twist announced last week, the Washington State University PHD candidate was indicted by an Idaho Grand Jury who heard the evidence in secret and decided to send the case to a full trial.
Best friends Madison and Kaylee, both 21, and young couple Xana and Ethan, both 20, died in the horror attack, which was so brutal, blood could still be seen dripping down the walls of their rental home days after the killing.
Police eventually apprehended Kohberger during a raid on his parents’ Poconos Mountains, Pennsylvania home on December 30 and he was flown back to Idaho in a small Pilatus PC-12 turboprop plane on January 4.
Karen Caufield Laramie and Scott Laramie are seen with their daughter Madison, one of the victims of the Idaho house murders
Maddie Mogen (top) Kaylee Goncalves (left) Xana Kernodle (right) and Ethan Chapin (center) – all students at the University of Idaho – were knifed to death on November 13 in the quiet college town of Moscow
Bryan Kohberger, 28, appeared in court in Moscow, Idaho, last Monday where he ‘stood silent’ while entering a plea. The judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf over the murders of four University of Idaho students
Ethan and Xana were found on the floor below, with Xana discovered slumped over on the floor of her bedroom in the off-campus home
Last Monday’s appearance, which saw the 28-year-old arrive in court wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and looking pale, is his first since being formally charged with the killings in early January
Since being returned to the Gem State, the alleged killer has been locked up at the Latah County Jail, with prison sources telling DailyMail.com he spends his time obsessing over TV coverage of the case and has turned to God – meeting with a local pastor every Sunday.
Monday’s appearance, which saw the 28-year-old arrive in court wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and looking pale, is his first since being formally charged with the killings in early January.
Kohberger sat silently as Judge John Judge read his rights and reiterated that he faces the death penalty if found guilty of any of the murder charges before responding ‘yes’ when asked if he understood repeatedly.
Then, as the four murder charges and one of burglary were read out by Judge Judge, he sat flicking through his indictment papers and shifting in his seat before his lawyer Anne Taylor told the judge her client would be ‘standing silent’ when asked to respond.
The non-plea now means the case will proceed to trial, with Taylor asking the judge to schedule a six week trial that is now set to commence on October 2.
Looking on were Madison’s dad Ben Mogen and Kaylee’s parents Steve and Kristi, both dressed in black, who looked sad and serious as their daughters’ names were heard in the packed courtroom.
The November 13 killings shocked the tiny college town of Moscow which had not seen a single murder for seven years when Madison, Kaylee, Ethan and Xana were found dead in their beds.
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