Idaho College Killings Suspect Was First Arrested in 2014

Nine years before he was accused of killing four college students in Idaho, Bryan Kohberger was arrested in his native state of Pennsylvania and charged with misdemeanor theft for allegedly stealing his sister’s iPhone. It was Kohberger’s father, Michael, who reported the incident to police, according to court records. Michael Kohberger told law enforcement Bryan had warned him “not to do anything stupid” after learning his son had taken the phone, adding that his son had struggled with drug addiction.

Bryan Kohberger’s earlier run-in with the law, as described in these records, is only now coming to light, as he prepares to defend himself against charges; he allegedly killed four University of Idaho student’s last fall. According to the records, Bryan Kohberger was 19 years old when he was arrested for the alleged theft back in 2014. He served no jail time, according to officials. There is now no public record of that arrest or the outcome of the case.

Monroe County, Pennsylvania, offers first-time offenders the opportunity to enter a pretrial program called “Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition,” which allows for charges to be dropped and the record to be “expunged” once the accused successfully completes probation. Martin Souto Diaz, an attorney representing the Kohberger family, declined to comment on the record describing the earlier arrest. The district attorney’s office in Monroe County also had no comment. In a court filing Monday, Idaho prosecutors announced they intend to seek the death penalty against Bryan Kohberger for the alleged murders.

It remains to be seen whether the alleged incident in 2014, and his previous alleged history with substance abuse, will have any bearing — or offer any clues — in relation to what happened the morning of November 13, 2022, when four college students — Ethan Chapin, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21 — were stabbed to death at an off-campus home on King Road in Moscow, Idaho.

Bryan Kohberger’s team is pushing for a pause in his case while the defense and prosecution argue over the scope of which grand jury materials can or should be released. His lawyers are looking to determine whether there are grounds to dismiss his indictment based on the way the grand jury was selected, according to court documents. The defense is asking Idaho prosecutors to disclose more information about their investigation, including more detail on their forensic DNA analyses, and information obtained from cellphone records, according to court filings.

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