New court filings in the University of Idaho murders case, disclosed on Friday, reveals opposition to an appeal of the judge’s gag order.
On Jan. 3, Judge Megan Marshall imposed the order, limiting what prosecutors, the defense and other authorities were able to tell the media. She later expanded that to apply to attorneys for witnesses, the victims and their families.
“The members of the Goncalves family, who are represented by Mr. Shanon Gray, are potential witnesses in this case, including at trial and/or sentencing,” Latah County prosecutor Bill Thompson wrote in a short affidavit Wednesday.
The filing comes days after Gray appealed the court’s gag order, calling it “facially overbroad and vague” and unconstitutional in a court filing last week.
“As attorney for one of the victim’s families, I am allowed to relay to the media any of the opinions, views, or statements of those family members regarding any part of the case (as they are allowed to speak about the case under the First Amendment),” he argued.
Anne Taylor, a Kootenai County public defender, who is defending suspected killer Bryan Kohberger, also filed an objection to Gray’s appeal Thursday, the new documents show, arguing that the order does not violate Gray’s First Amendment rights, is not “facially vague,” and says that the Supreme Court has previously upheld gag orders on potential witnesses.
“If Mr. Gray truly intends only to voice his clients’ thoughts and opinions, then the Court’s previous exemption has already cured the supposed First Amendment infirmity — Mr. Gray’s clients may voice 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 chief civil deputy prosecuting attorney, also filed a lengthy memorandum regarding the scope of a Court’s authority to impose gag orders on a case.
Kohberger is accused of murdering Kaylee Goncalves and three University of Idaho students in the early hours of Nov. 13, 2022, ambushing them with a knife as some slept in a six-bedroom house on King Road, just a short walk from their campus.
The other victims were 20-year-olds Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle, who were dating, and 21-year-old Madison Mogen.
Two other roommates were not attacked, including one who told police she witnessed a masked intruder with “bushy eyebrows” leaving out the back door.
A probable cause affidavit, which revealed most of the publicly known details of the investigation, revealed that Kohberger had stalked the home at least a dozen times beforehand, and hours after the murders, he allegedly revisited the scene before taking a long drive down to the Lewis Clark Valley.
Kohberger is being held without bail on four counts of first-degree murder and a felony burglary charge. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 26.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.