Bryan Kohberger, the suspect who was arrested Friday for allegedly killing four University of Idaho students in November, arrived in court in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, as prosecutors start the process of sending him to Idaho to face murder charges.
Kohberger, 28, arrived at the Monroe County Court in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, ahead of an extradition hearing scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET.
The commonwealth of Pennsylvania must prove that Kohberger resembles or is the person on the arrest warrant, and that he was in the area where the crimes happened when they occurred, “a formality proceeding,” Monroe County Chief Public Defender Jason LaBar, Kohberger’s state-appointed attorney, told CNN.
LaBar told the Today show he expects his client to waive the hearing and sign extradition paperwork, paving the way for him to be transferred from Pennsylvania, where he was arrested, to Idaho, where the murders occurred.
Once Kohberger is in Idaho, authorities can unseal an affidavit of probable cause detailing what led police to his arrest—state law prevents the records from being released until he appears in court in the state, and Moscow, Idaho, police spokesman Capt. Anthony Dahlinger told the Washington Post, “we do not have a timeline right now on when that may occur.”
Kohberger was charged by Idaho prosecutors with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary, and has not yet entered a plea, but LaBar suggested Kohberger has denied the accusations against him.
“He’s willing to waive because he’s looking forward to being exonerated. Those were his words,” LaBar—who is not representing Kohberger in his criminal case—told the Washington Post.
Four University of Idaho students—Ethan Chapin, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen—were stabbed to death in an off-campus home in the small college town of Moscow, Idaho, on November 13. A murder weapon has not been discovered and police remained tight-lipped on potential suspects, leading to thousands of tips being submitted before Kohberger was arrested Friday. Kohberger, who is a Ph.D. student in criminal justice at nearby Washington State University, was identified as a suspect through DNA evidence and because he owned a white Hyundai Elantra seen near the crime scene, law enforcement sources told CNN. Kohberger and his father traveled by car from Washington to Pennsylvania in mid-December, a trip which authorities reportedly tracked. He was arrested at his parents’ home, and authorities confirmed they seized a car of that same make and model there.
It’s not clear what connection—if any—Kohberger had to the victims. The father of Kaylee Goncalves, Steve Goncalves, told ABC that while their family was not familiar with Kohberger, they have started to see connections between him and Kaylee, which they were not yet ready to discuss.