Bryan Kohberger Fights Bids to Lift Gag Order By Parties Seeking New Details About Murder Investigation
Bryan Kohberger and his public defender will argue this week that the judge presiding over his case should not reverse the broad gag order she put in place last month.
Bryan Kohberger is trying to prevent the court from lifting an order that limits the release of new details about the University of Idaho murder investigation which resulted in his arrest.
Kohberger and his public defender will argue this week that the gag order in his case should not be changed and that the amended dissemination order filed by the judge overseeing the proceedings should remain in place, court documents reveal.
This is now the second attempt by a party to overturn the amended nondissemination order in the case. Kohberger argues that lifting this order would make it harder for him to get a fair trial.
BRYAN KOHBERGER MURDER TRIAL AMENDED NONDISSEMINATION ORDER
The judge filed an initial nondissemination order on Jan. 3, just a few days after Kohberger’s arrest.
That initial order prohibited “investigators, law enforcement personnel, attorneys, and agents of the prosecuting attorney or defense … from making extrajudicial statements, written or oral, concerning this case, other than a quotation from or reference to, without comment, the public records of the case.”
An amended order filed 15 days later expands that ban to include “[t]he attorneys for any interested party in this case, including the prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, and any attorney representing a witness, victim, or victim’s family, as well as the parties to the above-entitled action, including but not limited to investigators, law enforcement personal, and agents for the prosecuting attorney or defense attorney.”
The Associated Press and over 20 other media companies filed a writ of mandamus in response to that amended order earlier this month, requesting that Idaho’s Second Judicial District vacate the nondissemination order.
A petition in support of that writ argues that the amended order “prohibits protected speech about a newsworthy event.”
PETITION IN SUPPORT OF WRIT OF MANDAMUS
The lawyers also write that the court “did not take any evidence or hold a hearing … made no factual findings that publicity will prejudice Mr. Kohberger, and .. did not consider any alternatives” before issuing that amended gag order.
Kohberger then responded by filing a petition to intervene in the case, with a member of the accused murderer’s legal team, Jay Weston Logsdon, arguing that “Kohberger’s right to Due Process and an unbiased jury cannot be fully represented or protected by the Respondents, and his rights will be impaired if he is not permitted to intervene.”
The accused murderer is not involved in the case, despite it being about his trial, which is why he needed to file this motion.
On Friday, Idaho’s Chief Justice G. Richard Bevan filed an order granting the defense’s petition and allowing Kohberger to intervene in the proceedings.
Additional court documents obtained by Inside Edition Digital show that Kohberger is currently fighting a similar attempt by the lawyer for Kaylee Goncalves’ family to overturn parts of the nondissemination order.
BRYAN KOHBERGER MOTION TO INTERVENE
Because that motion is part of his murder case, Kohberger did not need to file a petition to intervene.
Kohberger and Logsdon filed a response to that motion earlier this month, arguing that the amended nondisseminstion order serves as a “continued operation of a remedial measure that prevents prejudice at its inception.”
The case has received national attention ever since the bodies of four University of Idaho students were found dead in a house just off the school’s Moscow campus.
Interest in the case only grew during the six weeks it took police to finally make an arrest in the case.
BRYAN KOHBERGER OBJECTION TO MOTION TO APPEAL OR AMEND
Kohberger was eventually apprehended in the early morning hours of December 30 at his childhood home in Pennsylvania.
A probable cause affidavit said that his arrest came just days after investigators matched DNA found in trash pulled from Kohberger’s home to DNA found on a knife sheath discovered at the murder scene.
Authorities have yet to find the weapon that killed those students: Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20.
The judge has set aside the week of June 23 for a preliminary hearing in the case, at which time Kohberger will be formally charged with four counts of first-degree murder and a single count of burglary.
Kohberger had previously told the public defender assigned to handle his extradition from Pennsylvania to Idaho that he expects to be exonerated of all charges at trial.
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