Idaho Judge Issues Sweeping Gag Order on College Murders Case

An Idaho judge on Tuesday issued a sweeping gag order in the case against Bryan Kohberger, the Washington State University student charged with killing four University of Idaho students in November.

Magistrate Judge Megan E. Marshall has barred “investigators, law enforcement personnel, attorneys, and agents of the prosecuting attorney or defense attorney” from making any statements outside the court “other than a quotation from or reference to, without comment, the public records of the case.”

Marshall’s order was issued after Kohberger appeared in a Monroe County, Pennsylvania, court and waived extradition to Idaho. The 28-year-old was arrested at his parents’ home in Albrightville on Friday for the murders of Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, and Ethan Chapin in the early hours of November 13, as CrimeOnline has previously reported.

The Moscow, Idaho, Police Department released Marshall’s order, along with a statement saying it would “no longer be communicating with with the public or the media regarding this case.”

The order prohibits discussion of evidence, the character, credibility, or criminal records of a party to the case, results of examinations or tests or refusal of a party to submit to such, opinions as to the merits of the case, or “any other matter reasonably likely to interfere with a fair trail of this case.”

Included in the latter would be “the existence or contents of any confession, admission, or statement given by the Defendant, the possibility of a plea of guilt to the charged offense or a lesser offense, or any opinion as to the Defendant’s guilt or innocence,” the judge wrote.

The order is to remain in place “until such time as a verdict has been returned, unless modified by this court.”

An earlier order issued by Administrative District Judge John C. Judge covers court decorum and conduct, including seating, use of electronic devices, and other items, pending more specific rules set up by the court governing the case itself.

Kohberger’s next court appearance will be an initial appearance in Idaho before a magistrate judge. According to Moscow Police, the judge will explain the defendants rights and the charges and appoint an attorney, if the defendant doesn’t have one already and schedule a preliminary hearing. He will not be asked for a plea.

Kohberger will also be served with the Idaho arrest warrant. When that warrant is returned to the court, the probable cause affidavit will be unsealed, and the media and public will get a

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[Featured image: Bryan Kohberger arrives at extradition hearing at the Monroe County Courthouse in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, on January 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, Pool)]