The families of two of the University of Idaho murder victims have indicated that they plan to file a motion calling for the death penalty for suspected killer Bryan Kohberger.
As previously reported, four University of Idaho students — Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen, and Kaylee Goncalves — were found stabbed to death at their off-campus rented home on Nov. 13th in Moscow, Idaho.
Weeks after the murders, a suspect — Bryan Kohberger — was arrested in late December.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 1, 2023
Fast-forward to Saturday, when NewsNation broke the latest bombshell in the tragedy: “The families of Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen, victims of the Idaho college killings, are filing notices indicating their desire to seek the death penalty for Bryan Kohberger, the accused killer.”
“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. So, the Goncalves family obviously supports the death penalty in this case,” Shanon Gray, the attorney for Goncalves family, told the outlet.
“They want justice for the deaths of their daughter and Maddie (Madison Mogen), and Xana (Kernodle) and Ethan (Chapin),” he added.
The families of Goncalves and Mogen have also indicated that they plan to sue the city of Moscow.
“The families of slain students Kaylee Goncalves, 21, and Madison Mogen, 21, may seek damages against the city for the murders of their daughters, according to the notices, which were dated May 3 and May 11, respectively,” according to ABC News.
“The notices do not specify what kind of claim the families may make. They say that potential dollar figures for damages are ‘undetermined at this time,'” the establishment outlet reported earlier last week.
Speaking with the outlet, Gray alleged that the claims are designed to protect the families’ right to sue.
“Filing a tort claims notice is really just a safeguard. It’s a safeguard to protect the interests of the families, the victims and really the whole community around, because if something goes wrong, or was done improperly, then someone is held accountable for that,” he said.
All this comes roughly a week after Kohberger appeared in court, where he refused to plead guilty or non-guilty, instead choosing to remain completely silent.
“Your honor, we are standing silent,” his attorney said for him, according to CNN.
A judge entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of Bryan Kohberger, 28, who remained mostly silent and opted not to enter a plea during an arraignment hearing on charges of stabbing four University of Idaho college students https://t.co/ayBBwku6uY pic.twitter.com/IDFazqZeuS
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 23, 2023
But why did he stand silent?
“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,” according to the Daily Mail.
That’s one possible reason. Citing the expertise of University of Idaho law professor Samuel Newton and Seattle attorney Anne Bremner, CNN pointed to “a number of [other potential] reasons.”
“The defendant may want to avoid criticism that could come with a certain plea, Newton said. A not guilty plea, for example, may spark public outrage that they are not taking responsibility for their alleged actions, he explained. Prosecutors and defense attorneys may also be negotiating behind the scenes, potentially discussing a plea agreement, Newton said,” according to CNN.
“Bremner dismissed the idea that the move could indicate Kohberger’s attorney may be considering a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity because there is no insanity defense in Idaho. Or, Newton added, it could simply be that the defendant is being difficult and not wanting to cooperate,” as noted by CNN.
Bremner reportedly echoed the idea that Kohberger was just trying to be difficult.
“Maybe he’s just trying to be defiant or attempting to show he’s the smartest guy in the courtroom,” she said.
She also pointed to Kohberger’s background as a criminology student, saying, “He knew enough about criminal studies that it would have an impact.”
Below are some additional theories concerning his mysterious silence:
It is not a control move.
It is a legal move.
Entering no plea opens opportunities to challenge that would be home if he pleads not guilty.
— jack (@mooswa6) May 22, 2023
#BryanKohberger stood in silence at the time to enter a plea.
He is certainly entitled to stand silent, but I see this as a control move.
No one is going to tell me to enter a verdict, is how it came across to me.
There is no legal advantage. He knows silence means a not… pic.twitter.com/nPsXGWURBd
— Jennifer Coffindaffer (@CoffindafferFBI) May 22, 2023
— Gisela K (@truecrimegisela) May 22, 2023
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