The courtroom hearing regarding the gag order in the case against Bryan Kohberger, the primary suspect in the tragic deaths of four University of Idaho college students last year, concluded without a final ruling on Friday, Your Content has learned.
The gag order, which restricts prosecutors, defense attorneys, and representatives of victims’ families and witnesses from making any public statements beyond what is already in the public domain, remains in effect.
Limited information has emerged from court documents, which highlight the connection between Kohberger and DNA evidence discovered on a knife sheath, as well as cellphone data.
Judge John Judge opened the hearing by expressing his regrets to the families of the victims for mispronouncing some of their names during Kohberger’s initial court appearance.
The four students who lost their lives were Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin.
Furthermore, the judge voiced his dissatisfaction with the media coverage that followed Kohberger’s decision to remain silent, leading to the judge entering a “not guilty” plea on his behalf.
Shanon Gray, the attorney representing the Goncalves family, presented arguments against the gag order, contending that the revised order is overly restrictive by limiting what attorneys can disclose about the case.
The judge stated his understanding that the Goncalves family had never been subject to restrictions and had been allowed to voice their opinions freely.
Agreeing with the judge, Gray insisted that he should also be permitted to express his own views and relay the sentiments of his clients. He also criticized the prosecution, pointing out the lack of communication from their side.
Gray hinted that this limited communication may have stemmed from the family’s early criticisms of the investigation.
Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson refuted Gray’s claims, asserting that his team had not withheld any information from Gray and his clients.
Thompson argued in favor of upholding the gag order, emphasizing that it serves to prevent juror bias and maintain fairness in the proceedings.
Kohberger’s defense also advocated for maintaining the gag order, stating that all statements should be confined to the courtroom.
In response to the prosecution, Gray clarified that nothing prevented them from contacting his clients even before he joined as their attorney.
The judge assured the parties involved that he would strive to issue a decision promptly, according CBS News.