A cleaning company is back at the crime scene where four University of Idaho students were murdered last year.
A large truck was seen on Tuesday (27 June) at the Moscow three-storey home where Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin were murdered last November as the process continues to return their personal belongings to their loved ones.
Earlier reports said that the house, which now belongs to the University of Idaho, would be demolished sometime this summer.
The cleaning company tasked with removing all the items inside the home ahead of a demolition told CourtTV in a statement that a timeline has not been laid out, but staff remains in touch with family members during the process that may take several weeks.
“We are beginning remediation with the removal of all the personal items for the families to receive, as they wish. This will take several weeks. No date set for demolition,” the statement read.
The developments came on the same day the victims’ alleged murderer Bryan Kohberger appeared in court a day after Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson filed a notice of his intent to seek the death penalty against Mr Kohberger.
Mr Thompson cited five “aggravating circumstances” that could warrant the maximum sentence of capital punishment being sought.
At a Tuesday hearing in Latah County Court, Judge John Judge heard arguments on several motions filed by the defence, including motions to compel and discovery.
Mr Kohberger’s attorneys said they were not “on a fishing expedition,” but that they needed the material in order to build a strong case for their client.
Among the evidence requested by the defence are training records of three police officers who interviewed “critical” witnesses, information about the FBI team leading the criminal probe, and background on the tip that led to the search for Mr Kohberger’s white Hyundai and cellphone records cited in the probable cause affidavit.
“There is a heightened standard now that the State has announced its intent to seek the death penalty … and these are very relevant pieces of information,” Mr Kohberger’s defence said.
Prosecutors argued that most of those materials have already been made available to the defence.
The state also noted that the officers’ training records do not pertain to the case and could set an unfavourable precedent in future cases.
Mr Kohberger’s defence said that while there were more than 120 officers who worked in the murder investigation, they were only requesting records from three of them who played a critical role by collecting evidence, following up on tips and conducting more than a dozen interviews.
The judge told the court that he will be issuing a written ruling with the evidence that the prosecution must turn in by 14 July.
Other motions expected to be heard were either settled prior to the court appearance or will be heard at a later date.
In a key motion to compel filed last week, the defence argued that the prosecution should hand over all information about the genetic genealogy and DNA evidence which ties Mr Kohberger to the murders. This includes information about the scientists who carried out the DNA testing and what it was that led authorities to suspect him in the first place.
Last month, Mr Kohberger previously refused to enter a plea at his arraignment on four charges of first-degree murder and one charge of burglary last month. His attorney said that he was “standing silent” on the charges, leaving the judge to enter not-guilty pleas on his behalf.
Mr Kohberger’s trial is scheduled for 2 October, but the date is expected to be delayed following his defence’s filings.
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