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Tipsheet

University Investigated Idaho Murder Suspect’s Behavior Around Time of Killings

AP Photo/Matt Rourke, Pool

The 28-year-old suspect in the murders of four University of Idaho students was investigated by his school, Washington State University, over his conduct around the time the killings took place, according to The New York Times

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According to the Times, former WSU Ph.D. student Bryan Kohberger was called into a meeting with faculty members to “discuss growing concerns about his behavior.” At the time, he was a teaching assistant at WSU, which is located about seven miles away from the University of Idaho. 

The meeting was reportedly part of a “series of discussions” over the fall semester over Kohberger’s conduct. One meeting occurred 11 days before Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20 were found stabbed to death in their off-campus home near the University of Idaho.

At the faculty end-of-year meeting in December, WSU staff decided to terminate Kohberger from his teaching assistant position. Those in the meeting were also told that female students had come forward claiming that Kohberger made them uncomfortable:

The faculty’s concerns with Mr. Kohberger grew in the weeks after the Nov. 13 killings, though he had not yet been identified as a suspect. They culminated in the criminal justice department’s unusual decision to terminate Mr. Kohberger from his teaching assistant role in December, shortly before his arrest, according to three people familiar with his time at the university and a formal letter to Mr. Kohberger informing him that he had failed to meet the conditions required to maintain his funding under the program.

The faculty made the decision at the department’s end-of-year meeting in December, during which professors were also told that some female students reported that Mr. Kohberger had made them feel uncomfortable. In one of those instances, Mr. Kohberger was accused of following a female student to her car, according to two people familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.

In the case of the female students, the university’s investigation did not find Mr. Kohberger guilty of any wrongdoing, two people said, and it was other matters that prompted the decision to eliminate his funding and remove him from the teaching assistant job. That decision, they said, was based on his unsatisfactory performance as a teaching assistant, including his failure to meet the “norms of professional behavior” in his interactions with the faculty.

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According to the termination letter obtained by the Times, Kohberger had an “altercation” in September with the WSU professor he was assisting. In December, Kohberger had a second altercation with the professor. The university terminated Kohberger as he “had not made progress regarding professionalism.”

As Townhall covered, police arrested a suspect at the end of 2022 in the murders of the four University of Idaho college students. The unsealed probable cause affidavit explained that Kohberger’s cell phone was in the area of the victims’ home over 10 times between June 2022 and the night of their deaths. On the night of the murders, Kohberger’s phone was detected near WSU before turning off or going on airplane mode. Over an hour later, his phone was detected near Moscow, Idaho on a route going back to campus. DNA found on a knife sheath at the crime scene, as well as Kohberger’s car on security footage connected him to the murder.

As Townhall covered, police arrested a suspect at the end of 2022 in the murders of the four University of Idaho college students. The unsealed probable cause affidavit explained that Kohberger’s cell phone was in the area of the victims’ home over 10 times between June 2022 and the night of their deaths. On the night of the murders, Kohberger’s phone was detected near WSU before turning off or going on airplane mode. Over an hour later, his phone was detected near Moscow, Idaho on a route going back to campus. DNA found on a knife sheath at the crime scene, as well as Kohberger’s car on security footage connected him to the murder.

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An investigator familiar with the case told  People last month that Kohberger, messaged one of the victims on Instagram “several times” before her death, which Townhall covered.

“He slid into one of the girls’ DMs several times but she didn’t respond,” the investigator told the outlet. “Basically, it was just him saying ‘Hey, how are you?’ But he did it again and again.”

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