Seeking the death penalty rather than life imprisonment for Idaho student murders suspect Bryan Kohberger could cost taxpayers an additional $1 million if he is convicted, according to a new report.

Latah County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson notified the court and the defense on June 26 that his office intended to seek death if Kohberger is convicted in the November 2022 slayings of four University of Idaho students.

Convicted killers stack up hefty medical bills as they await execution. Gerald Pizzuto, a 67-year-old inmate, has been on death row in Idaho since 1986 while battling numerous health conditions, including most recently, terminal cancer. His post-sentencing incarceration has cost taxpayers $1.3 million, according to the Idaho Statesman.

In addition to the legal delays keeping inmates on death row longer, there is also a shortage of lethal injections, which prompted Idaho to reinstate the firing squad earlier this year.

The state’s longest-serving death row inmate has been held for more than 40 years with a tab of $1.5 million.

BRYAN KOHBERGER CASE: STATE TO SEEK DEATH PENALTY AGAINST IDAHO MURDERS SUSPECT Defendant Bryan Kohberger enters the courtroom for a motion hearing regarding a gag order in Latah County District Court on June 9, 2023 in Moscow, Idaho. Kohberger is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November 2022.

Kohberger, 28, was a criminology Ph.D. student at Washington State University last year when police allege he drove to the neighboring University of Idaho and killed four undergrads with a knife in their off-campus house.

He is now accused of burglary and four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Maddie Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20.

Authorities have not publicly revealed a potential motive for the massacre, but they gave conflicting statements early in the investigation about whether the house or someone inside had been targeted. According to court documents, Kohberger allegedly stalked the King Road rental home a dozen times before the murders and returned once more hours after the slayings but before police arrived.

A judge entered not guilty pleas on his behalf to all charges at Kohberger’s arraignment in May.

A different judge ordered him held without bond in January after his arrest in Pennsylvania, where he is from.

Prosecutors then had 60 days to decide whether they would seek the death penalty.

“I’m not surprised,” said Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor and Los Angeles-based trial attorney, said after Thompson’s office made the announcement. “This is one of the most heinous murders in Idaho state history.”

“There are many aggravating factors supporting the imposition of the death penalty, including multiple victims who were brutally and senselessly stabbed,” he added.

A six-week trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 2.

The prosecution’s intent to seek the death penalty come on the same day Kohberger’s defense team claimed their client had “no connection” with the victims.

The defense team took issue with the prosecution’s DNA collection and use of genetic genealogy. Defense attorney Jay Logsdon wrote in a court filing that DNA from three other unidentified males was found at the crime scene, including on a glove outside the home – which stands at the edge of campus and the heart of the university’s Greek Row nightlife.

The defense also questioned the tracking of a white Hyundai sedan authorities say links Kohberger to the murders.

NYNNC’s Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.

Leave A Reply