Idaho Murders Update: Victim family opposes gag order appeal

Idaho murders Update: Bryan Kohberger's Prosecutor says victim's family is the 'potential witnesses' as defense opposes gag order appeal.

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Idaho Murders Update: New court files, in the University of Idaho student slayings case were made public on Friday, suggesting resistance to an appeal of the judge’s gag order.

On January 3, Judge Megan Marshall issued the order, which limits what prosecutors, the defence, and other authorities may say to the media.

She then extended it to include counsel for witnesses, victims, and their families.

“The Goncalves family members, who are represented by Mr. Shanon Gray, are possible witnesses in this case, including at trial and/or punishment,” Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson stated in a brief affidavit Wednesday.

Gray appealed the court’s gag order in a court filing last week, declaring it “facially overbroad and imprecise” and illegal.

“As an attorney for one of the Victim’s families, I am permitted to transmit to the media any of those family members’ comments, beliefs, or remarks regarding any aspect of the case (as they are permitted to talk about the case under the First Amendment),” he said.

Anne Taylor’s objection to Shanon Gray’s appeal of the gag order (Click Here to read)

According to the new filings, Anne Taylor, the Kootenai County public defender who formerly represented one of the victim’s parents and is now representing accused killer Bryan Kohberger, also filed an objection to Gray’s appeal on Thursday.

The defence contended that the order does not violate Gray’s First Amendment rights, that it is not “facially ambiguous,” and that the Supreme Court has supported gag orders on possible witnesses in the past.

“If Mr. Gray truly intends only to express his clients’ thoughts and opinions, then the Court’s previous exemption has already cured the alleged First Amendment infirmity — Mr. Gray’s clients may express these thoughts and opinions themselves — as they have clearly been doing,” wrote Jay Weston Logsdon, an attorney with Taylor’s office.

Bradley Rudley, Latah County’s lead civil deputy prosecuting attorney, also submitted a long memorandum on the limits of a court’s ability to issue gag orders in a case.

Kaylee Goncalves and three University of Idaho students were killed in the early hours of Nov. 13, 2022, when Kohberger ambushed them with a knife as they slept in a six-bedroom home on King Road, only steps from the school.

CLICK here to Read DA Bill Thompson’s short affidavit 

Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle, all 20 years old, and Madison Mogen, 21, were the additional casualties.

Two other roommates were not assaulted, including one who told police she saw a masked invader with “bushy eyebrows” exiting via the back door.

READ the memo (go here)

According to a probable cause affidavit that revealed most of the publicly known data about the inquiry, Kohberger had shadowed the residence at least a dozen times previously. Then, hours after the deaths, he reportedly returned to the scene before driving to the Lewis Clark Valley.

Kohberger is being jailed without bond on four charges of first-degree murder and one count of criminal burglary. The date of his preliminary hearing is set on June 26.

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