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Idaho prosecutors in Bryan Kohberger case file new motion as defense raises fair trial questions

Ethan Chapin’s family doesn’t think about his suspected killer, as prosecutors in Bryan Kohberger’s high-profile Idaho murder case filed a new motion regarding his next court appearance.

The judge in the case this week ruled that Kohberger’s defense team could resume phone surveys of potential jurors, and prosecutors filed a motion to seal his next court appearance. 

“It’s not a place I spend much time, thinking about him,” Stacy Chapin told Fox 13 Seattle when asked about Kohberger. “We made a decision to not let it impact our family. We can’t change the outcome. We can’t bring Ethan back.”

Instead, they’re letting the judicial process unfold and celebrating Ethan’s siblings’ accomplishments while she’s back in Moscow, Idaho, where two of her children are in college. 

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“We can’t change the outcome. We can’t bring Ethan back.”

— Stacy Chapin

Just two years ago, in November 2022, Ethan, along with Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, were allegedly murdered by Kohberger in a seemingly random attack in the middle of the night.

A judge entered a not guilty plea to four counts of murder and burglary on his behalf, and prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty if he’s convicted. 

IDAHO MURDERS: BRYAN KOHBERGER DEFENSE ‘FIRMLY BELIEVES’ IN SUSPECT’S INNOCENCE

Stacy had a positive spin about a town that could be a haunting reminder for her and her family. 

“We’ve been, and our kids have been, to hell and back, but we’re definitely on the other side of this thing,” Stacy told the local news outlet. “That university and the town of Moscow, and the kids that go to school there and the police department, we have felt so much love from there and the support.”

“We’ve been, and our kids have been, to hell and back, but we’re definitely on the other side of this thing.” 

Bryan Kohberger and the victims of the Idaho murders

The case made international headlines and gripped the true-crime community, and has been under the microscope since the four college students were killed. The case has been the topic of countless true-crime podcasts and shows.

The court has sealed most of the records in the case to avoid potentially poisoning the jury pool. 

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Prosecutors asked for the seal to include his next hearing, which is scheduled for May 14, because “discussion or dissemination of information” could be prejudicial. 

“There exists a compelling interest at stake to preserve a fair trial, no reasonable alterative exists but to conduct a closed hearing,” prosecutors wrote in the April 23 court filing. 

Bryan Kohberger Mugshots compilation

Kohberger, who was studying for a Ph.D. in criminology at Washington State University at the time of the stabbings, is accused of driving across the state line and massacring four University of Idaho undergrads in a 4 a.m. home invasion attack.

The defense is pushing for a change of venue to a larger county with more potential jurors in the jury pool, suggesting Ada, Bonneville and Bannock counties.

That is scheduled to be decided by June 27. 

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