A judge has decided to maintain the gag order in the criminal case against Bryan Kohberger, who stands accused of the murder of four Idaho college students, Your Content has learned.
The order prevents any parties involved in the case from discussing it publicly. The decision was made after considering arguments presented on Friday.
The high-profile nature of the charges against Kohberger has led to widespread national attention, generating online chatter and rampant speculation.
Concerned about preserving both the First Amendment and the Sixth Amendment rights, Latah County District Judge John Judge acknowledged the delicate balance required in this case.
Kohberger’s defense team and the prosecution both support the gag order, asserting that it will ensure a fair and impartial trial when proceedings commence on October 2.
By preventing potential jurors from entering the courtroom with preconceived biases, they hope to maintain the integrity of the trial.
However, the lack of information available to the public has resulted in rampant speculation and misinformation about the case, a problem that law enforcement had already encountered before Kohberger’s arrest.
The first of two hearings on Friday focused on the request from the Goncalves family to modify the gag order. The family’s attorney, Shannon Gray, argued that the order prevented them from discussing the case and hindered their access to updates.
Gray expressed frustration with the communication between the prosecutor’s office and the Goncalves family, deeming it highly inadequate compared to his two decades of legal practice.
In response, the judge clarified that while family members could potentially be called as witnesses, they were not subject to the gag order. However, the order did apply to Gray, given his role as an attorney on the case.
Consequently, Gray requested permission to speak publicly about the case.
Prosecutors countered Gray’s request, asserting that his comments were misleading. They emphasized their duty of candor to the court and sought to prevent any misinterpretation of improprieties.
Kohberger’s attorneys further contended that Gray had not abided by the gag order, citing his numerous media appearances. They expressed concerns that any statements or actions would be manipulated against their client.
Additionally, arguments were presented regarding the potential allowance of cameras in the courtroom for future proceedings. Kohberger voiced his opposition, claiming that online spectators had been unfairly judging his body language.
The judge carefully considered all arguments and will issue rulings on these matters at a later date, according to News Nation.