Family of Idaho murder suspect say they are ‘favoring his presumption of innocence’

The family of Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, the suspect arrested in the brutal murder of four University of Idaho students, said they were cooperating with law enforcement to ‘promote his presumption of innocence in his first public statement released on Sunday.

The statement was released by Kohberger’s attorney, Monroe County Chief Public Defender Jason A. LaBar, on behalf of Kohberger’s parents, Michael and Marianne Kohberger, and his sister, Amanda.

The Kohbergers pledged to “let the legal process unfold and as a family we will love and support our son and our brother.”

“We have cooperated fully with law enforcement with the goal of seeking the truth and promoting his presumption of innocence rather than judging unknown facts and making faulty assumptions,” the statement continued.

The statement also expressed condolences to the families of the four students – Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho – who were killed Nov. 13.

“First and foremost, we care deeply for the four families who lost their precious children. There are no words that can adequately express the sadness we feel, and we pray for them every day,” could -we read.

The Kohbergers concluded by saying that they “respect privacy in this matter because our family and the families who suffer a loss can move forward in the legal process.”

The family members’ comments come a day after LaBar said in an interview that his client was “eager to be cleared.”

LaBar, who is representing the suspect in the extradition but not the murder case, said Kohberger was “very aware, but calm and genuinely shocked by his arrest” when the two men spoke for about an hour on Friday.

Police arrested Kohberger in Albrightsville, northeast Pennsylvania, about 2,500 miles from the Idaho campus, officials said Friday.

Authorities said he will be charged with four counts of first-degree murder and burglary, for allegedly breaking and entering the Moscow, Idaho home with intent to commit a felony.

A possible motive, Kohberger’s potential relationship with one of the victims or any evidence that led police to find him was not disclosed.

Two law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News that DNA evidence played a key role in linking the murders to Kohberger.

A Hyundai Elantra was taken Friday from Kohberger’s home in Pennsylvania, law enforcement sources said. Moscow police were looking for a white Hyundai Elantra as possible evidence.

A probable cause affidavit, with details supporting Kohberger’s arrest, is under seal until he sets foot in Idaho and is served with those papers in court, authorities said. . LaBar said Saturday that Kohberger intended to waive his extradition hearing in Pennsylvania on Tuesday to face charges in Idaho shortly thereafter.

The Kohberger family is expected to be present for the extradition hearing on Tuesday, LaBar said.

Investigators said they still need the public’s help to “fully understand everything there is to know not only about the individual, but also what happened and why,” according to Latah County District Attorney Bill Thompson.

Three of the victims – Goncalves, Mogen and Kernodle – were roommates at the home where they died, while Chapin, Kernodle’s boyfriend, was spending the night, investigators said.

Two other housemates at the house at the time were sleeping during the stabbings, and one of their cellphones was used to call 911 when they woke up later that morning, detectives said.

The killings made headlines across the country and around 19,000 pieces of public information which police said was crucial to the investigation.

Families of murder victims say they hope Kohberger’s arrest will bring justice.

Cara Northington, Xana Kernodle’s mother, told NBC News on Friday that the arrest of a suspect in the case has lifted “an enormous weight” off her shoulders, adding that she does not know Kohberger.

“A big part of the heartbreak was not knowing who it was, knowing whoever was responsible is still out there,” she said. “So yeah, that definitely takes a lot of the grief that we used to have off our shoulders.”

Kohberger, who was a doctoral student in the department of criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University, 14 km from Moscow, was known to have made “creepy” and inappropriate comments to employees and customers of a Pennsylvania brewery, said the company owner told NBC News. Saturday.

Minyvonne Burke, Deon J. Hampton, Jonathan Diest, Tom Winter, David K. Li, Deanna Durante, Shanshan Dong, Brandy Zadrozny, Kate Martin and Corky Siemaszko contributed.


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