WATCH: Bryan Kohberger, accused of killing four U of I students, hears murder charges read in court - East Idaho News

WATCH: Bryan Kohberger, accused of killing four U of I students, hears murder charges read in court

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LATAH COUNTY (Idaho Statesman) — Quadruple homicide suspect Bryan Kohberger nodded along in a Latah County courtroom Thursday morning as a judge read the five charges against him: four counts of murder in the first degree and a felony burglary charge in the killing of four University of Idaho students.

During his first appearance in Idaho since his arrest in Pennsylvania, 2nd District Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall advised Kohberger of his rights, asking him, “Do you understand?” after reading each charge. “Yes,” replied Kohberger, who wore an orange jumpsuit with “Prisoner Latah Co Jail” written on the back in bold black letters.

Marshall also laid out the maximum penalty for the crimes should Kohberger be found guilty: a death sentence or imprisonment for life. The prosecution has 60 days after a plea is entered to decide whether to pursue the death penalty.

The 28-year-old graduate student at Washington State University in Pullman is charged in the Nov. 13 stabbing deaths of U of I seniors Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum; junior Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls; and freshman Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Washington.

A 19-page probable cause affidavit — which lays out how authorities used DNA evidence, vehicle and cellphone records, and other surveillance to peg Kohberger as the suspect — was released less than an hour before Kohberger was formally charged in court.

READ: Affidavit released in Bryan Kohberger, University of Idaho murder case

“We haven’t reviewed very much in the way of information about the case,” Kootenai County Chief Public Defender Anne Taylor said during the hearing.

Taylor, Kohberger’s attorney, asked the court to consider setting a bond, which Marshall declined to do, citing Idaho code that doesn’t allow bond in first-degree murder cases. Latah County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson had asked Marshall not to allow bond.

“(Kohberger) has a good family that stands behind him,” Taylor told the court. Kohberger’s family did not appear to be present Thursday, but his parents and sister attended his extradition hearing in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday. Kohberger was arrested last Friday at his family’s home in Pennsylvania.

Marshall scheduled a status hearing for Kohberger’s case for Thursday, Jan. 12, at 10 a.m. Pacific time. The judge also issued no-contact orders for the two surviving roommates of the house, as well as for several members of the victims’ families.

About 65 people were in the courtroom, with family members of the victims occupying the first row. Four wooden benches behind them were filled by media. The hearing lasted about 15 minutes.

Shortly after the hearing, the attorney for the Goncalves family, Shannon Gray, read a statement in front of the Latah County Courthouse, alongside Steve and Kristi Goncalves, Kaylee’s parents.

“It’s obviously an emotional time for the family — seeing the defendant for the first time,” Gray said. “This is the beginning of the criminal justice system and the family will be here for the long haul.”

In the affidavit, Moscow Police Cpl. Brett Payne said police located a “tan leather knife sheath” in Mogen’s room, and investigators were able to find a man’s DNA on it. The sheath also had a Ka-Bar and United States Marine Corps insignia stamped on it — which a Moscow Building Supply manager told the Statesman in November police were looking for.

A little over a week ago, Pennsylvania authorities obtained DNA evidence from outside Kohberger’s family home in Albrightsville, which was that of a close relative of Kohberger’s, the affidavit said.

Investigators said they were then able to link the DNA to the sample found on the sheath. Kohberger arrived Wednesday night at the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport in Washington and was transported by police escort to the Latah County Jail. He is expected to be held there for the duration of his trial.

Reporter Alex Brizee contributed.