The suspect in the brutal University of Idaho murders may be facing the death penalty, based on the most recent filing made by his attorneys.
The public defender representing Bryan Kohberger — who was charged in the murders of Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Ethan Chapin, 20; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Madison Mogen, 21 — filed a motion last Thursday asking the court to appoint an additional “death qualified” co-counsel in the case.
“Looks like #BryanKohberger is facing the #DeathPenalty in the #IdahoMurders,” attorney Philip Holloway tweeted, sharing a photo of the motion that was filed. “The public defender is asking for an additional “death qualified” lawyer to be appointed to the defense team. The motion was granted.”
Looks like #BryanKohberger is facing the #DeathPenalty in the #IdahoMurders
The public defender is asking for an additional “death qualified” lawyer to be appointed to the defense team
The motion was granted pic.twitter.com/6bAPSJq65H
— Philip Holloway ✈️ (@PhilHollowayEsq) March 7, 2023
The motion stated that Koontenai County Public Defender Anne C. Taylor, acting on Kohberger’s behalf, “moves the Court to appoint an additional death qualified co-counsel in the above entitled matter.”
“This motion is made pursuant to the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Idaho and United States Constitutions, Rule 44.3 of the Idaho Criminal Rules, IDAPA 61.01.08 et seq., and the American Bar Association Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Counsel in Death Penalty Cases,” the filing continued.
Experts raised the question of the death penalty early on — Idaho criminal defense attorney Jim Siebe noted in early January that it would almost certainly be an option on the table.
“I would certainly think [the death penalty] would be [requested],” he said, adding, “Of course, I can’t speak for [Latah County prosecutor] Bill Thompson,” Siebe continued.
“He’s the one that makes the determination … based on consultation with law enforcement people, with the families [of the victims], [and] some determination as to the personal circumstances of a defendant, where maybe a defendant is subject to a severe mental illness.”