The judge overseeing Bryan Kohberger‘s case in Idaho has yet to make a decision about whether cameras will be allowed or not in the courtroom for his upcoming trial, prompting questions surrounding how a ruling could impact testimonies from witnesses.
On Wednesday, the University of Idaho murder suspect appeared in court for a hearing in Latah County, Idaho, to decide if cameras will ultimately be allowed in the courtroom. Both the defense and prosecution have argued against the use of cameras for Kohberger’s trial, while several media outlets have filed motions to intervene, calling for them to be allowed.
The defense has argued that allowing cameras in the courtroom will result in widespread media coverage of the case, previously accusing cameras of focusing on Kohberger’s “fly.” On the other hand, the prosecution argued this week that cameras should be blocked during “a number of young and vulnerable witnesses” testimonies.
Kohberger, 28, was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary in the fatal stabbings of Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20. All four victims were students at the University of Idaho when the killings occurred last November. Kohberger previously stood silent during his arraignment allowing Judge John Judge to enter not guilty pleas for each charge on his behalf.
The witnesses mentioned by the prosecution in their argument include two of the victim’s surviving roommates, Dylan Mortensen and Bethany Funke. Mortensen told police in their probable cause affidavit that she saw a masked figure walk past her room on the night of the murders, while Kohberger’s defense team previously claimed that Funke had information that may be “exculpatory.”
Jennifer Coffindaffer, a former FBI agent who is not involved in the case, told Newsweek on Friday that testimonies by Funke and Mortensen will be the most “compelling,” but noted that there will be a “litany” of other testimonies from witnesses that were present when the 911 call was made on November 13 and when the bodies were found.