Bryan Kohberger murder trial in University of Idaho student killings set for June 2025

The murder trial of Bryan Kohberger, the criminology grad student accused of fatally stabbing four University of Idaho students in 2022, is set to begin June 2, 2025, according to a scheduling order filed in court.

In a court hearing Thursday, Latah County Judge John Judge proposed the trial date as well as deadlines for other legal filings in the case. Both the prosecution and defense said the deadlines were “reasonable” and agreed, although the defense added things could change depending on how the case progresses.

Judge set aside about three months for the trial, including two weeks for jury selection, eight weeks for the trial, and two weeks for potential post-conviction death penalty hearings and sentencing.

“This is a great step to set these deadlines and hearings so that we can move through this,” Judge said.

The order also indicates any motions challenging the death penalty are to be filed by September 5, with responses due by October 10. If a motion to change the venue is granted, “the Court anticipates that the trial dates will not change,” the ruling states.

Thursday’s scheduling hearing was part of the long and winding road since four University of Idaho students – Kaylee Goncalves, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen – were fatally stabbed in the overnight hours of November 13, 2022, at a home just off the school’s main campus in Moscow.

Kohberger, a Washington State University graduate student in criminology, was arrested in the killings on December 30, 2022, in his home state of Pennsylvania. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf last year, and his attorneys have indicated the 29-year-old intends to present an alibi as part of his defense. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.

University of Idaho students Kaylee Goncalves, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen were killed in the attack. - (Obtained by CNN)
University of Idaho students Kaylee Goncalves, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen were killed in the attack. - (Obtained by CNN)

The progression of the case has been slowed by a series of pre-trial motions and hearings related to the death penalty, a gag order, the use of investigative genetic genealogy and Kohberger’s proposed alibi. Several of the issues have still not been resolved.

Judge said in April he wants a “hearing at least every month,” noting the importance of “cleaning up” the legal proceedings.

Last month, Goncalves’ family expressed their frustration at the pace of the pre-trial hearings.

“This case is turning into a hamster wheel of motions, hearings, and delayed decisions,” the family said in a statement in May. “Can we all just agree that this case needs to move forward and the judge needs to start setting hard deadlines in this case?”

In court Thursday, Judge expressed similar views. “In my opinion, we’re getting to a point of diminishing returns,” he said.

The defense noted that some of the deadlines may need to be amended or extended as new information comes into the case, and Judge said he understood.

“I just don’t want to be scrambling around a month before the trial. We’re all going to be very, very busy, and the more we can resolve certain motions, supplements, whatever we need to do,” he said. “I’m trying to do this sooner than later.”

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