A three-month delay has been announced in the planned destruction of the Idaho home where four college students were found slain in the town of Moscow in November. Xana Kernodle, 20, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, and Xana’s boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, 20, were all stabbed to death in November.
The University of Idaho announced the suspension on Wednesday and said it will last until Bryan Kohberger’s trial begins in October. “We know that every action and decision around this horrific incident is painful and invokes emotions,” University of Idaho President Scott Green said in a statement.
“This is why every decision we have made this far is with the families of the victims and our students in mind.” “While we look forward to removing this grim reminder of this tragedy, we feel holding until October is the right thing to do.”
The tweet below verifies the news:
The planned demolition of the house where four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death last year will be delayed until October, officials at the university said https://t.co/t4CuQJQOa7
— CNN (@CNN) July 13, 2023
The owner of the mansion had donated it to the university, and in February, Green made the decision to demolish it. The school said that tearing down the building was part of the healing process and would stop any additional attempts to sensationalize the crime site.
Some of the victims’ relatives, however, protested, and the scheduled destruction was halted. The Goncalves’ attorney, Shanon Gray, told NBC News that delaying the demolition of the home until after the trial “would honor the families’ wishes and support the judicial process.”
Gray argued that the house should be allowed to stand in case it is needed as evidence at trial, saying, “The home itself has enormous evidentiary value in addition to being the largest and one of the most important pieces of evidence in the cast.”
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Green wrote in an email to students and faculty on Wednesday, which was acquired by The New York Times, that he was trying to balance the needs of the relatives of the victims with those of the students who see the house on a regular basis.
“We still fully expect to demolish the house,” he said. “But we believe leaving the house standing, for now, is the right course to take.” The institution has stated that it has begun returning victims’ belongings to their families in a “discreet and respectful” manner. This process began earlier this month.
It was also stated that the house was officially freed by the court and that neither the prosecution nor the defense objected to the demolition. Despite the setback, it was stated that preparations for its destruction, such as lead and asbestos remediation, will continue.
Kohberger, a 28-year-old criminology Ph.D. student at neighboring Washington State University, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary in connection with the fatal attack on the four students on the morning of November 13.
After a six-week manhunt, he was captured on December 30 in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. His trial is set to begin on October 2, and if he is found guilty, prosecutors have indicated they would seek the death penalty.
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