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Grad student accused of Idaho murders agrees to be extradited

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Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students, is escorted to an extradition hearing in Stroudsburg, Pa.

Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students, is escorted to an extradition hearing at the Monroe County Courthouse in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.

Matt Rourke, Associated Press

Bryan Kohberger agreed to be extradited to Idaho on Tuesday during the latest court appearance for the 28-year-old Pennsylvania man accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November.

Charges were filed Thursday against Kohberger, who was arrested Friday morning on four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Ethan Chapin, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21. All were found dead in a home in the small college town of Moscow, Idaho, on Nov. 13. Kohberger was also charged with one count of felony burglary.

Kohberger was arrested at his parent’s house in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, according to arrest paperwork and media reports.

Kohberger arrived at the courthouse in Monroe County handcuffed and wearing a red jumpsuit. He ignored questions from reporters on the scene, videos show.

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Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students, leaves after an extradition hearing at the Monroe County Courthouse in Stroudsburg, Pa., on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.

Matt Rourke, Associated Press

A judge explained the charges against Kohberger, according to News Nation reporter Brian Entin, who attended the hearing.

Kohberger also told the judge he is not on any medication that would impact his decision to waive extradition. He also said he was not mentally ill.

The hearing was brief, and Entin reported that Kohberger nodded at his family in attendance. “His mom cried and his sister comforted the mom. A deputy brought her tissues,” Entin reported.

Kohberger will be taken back to Idaho in the next 10 days, although Monroe County District Attorney E. David Christine Jr. told The New York Times he expects Kohberger to be immediately extradited.

Little is known about Kohberger, a doctoral student at Washington State University’s Pullman campus, a 15-minute drive from Moscow. Per Idaho state law, the affidavit that spells out the charges against him will remain sealed until he is extradited back to the state. Police have not outlined a motive, and on Friday said they had still not found a murder weapon.

Kohberger had just completed his first semester at Washington State, where he was pursuing a doctorate in the school’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, the university confirmed. His office and apartment, both located on the Pullman campus, were searched Friday.

In 2020, Kohberger received a bachelor’s degree from DeSales University, a Catholic school in central Pennsylvania, making dean’s list during the 2020 spring semester, according to records on the school’s website. In 2022, he graduated with a master’s degree in criminal justice from DeSales.

Jason Labar, Kohberger’s public defender, told NBC on Tuesday that “he believes he’s going to be exonerated.”

“He’s being very calm, he’s very aware, he understands the proceedings,” Labar told NBC, saying Kohberger was “very easy to talk to.”

Police in Moscow are urging the public to continue submitting tips related to the case. As of last week, the public submitted nearly 20,000 emails, calls and media tips.

“This is not the end of this investigation. In fact, this is a new beginning. You all now know the name of the person who has been charged with these offenses. Please get that information out there. Please ask the public, anyone who knows about this individual, to come forward. Call the tip line, report anything you know about him to help the investigators,” Bill Thompson, Latah County prosecutor, told reporters.

Moscow police remained tight-lipped throughout the investigation, a decision the department’s Chief James Fry said Friday he “will 100% stand behind.”

In December, police solicited the public’s help to find a white Hyundai Elantra, the same car that Kohberger and his father drove across the country in during the holidays, Labar said.

The FBI began surveilling Kohberger shortly after he arrived in Pennsylvania with his father.

According to CNN, investigators were also able to link Kohberger’s DNA to DNA recovered at the crime scene using a public genealogy database.