The suspect accused of killing four University of Idaho students waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing Thursday and, in the process, made a request that once again alleged a potential accomplice.
Prior to the new year, the 28-year-old Washington State University Ph.D. candidate believed responsible for the murders of Ethan Chapin, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Maddie Mogen was arrested in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. After being extradited to Idaho, he appeared in Latah County Court before Judge Megan Marshall Thursday where his public defender, Ann Taylor, requested a preliminary hearing be held no sooner than June.
By waiving the right to a hearing within 14 days of an initial court appearance, the defense has more time to review evidence, which included a discovery request for, “Any written or recorded statements by a co-defendant, and the substance of any relevant oral statement made by a co-defendant whether before or after arrest in response to interrogation by any person known by the co-defendant to be a peace officer or agent of the prosecuting attorney, or which are otherwise relevant to the offense charged.”
The request, one of 18 made as part of the discovery process, brought back into focus a claim made by the suspect upon his arrest when he asked law enforcement officials if they had apprehended anyone else in connection to the murders, according to Inside Edition.
Crime journalist Nancy Grace had opined on that point following the suspect’s arrest and said, “Forensically, it appears that there was only one type of weapon used. So what am I supposed to think? They handed the knife off to each other? No. But could someone have been a lookout? Did someone help plan it? Possibly. Possibly. But in my mind, highly doubtful.”
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As it stands, neither the Moscow Police Department nor any other agency that participated in the investigation has publicly suggested the possibility of another suspect in the Nov. 13 killings. The police have issued no further statements on the matter since Jan. 3.
Among the other requests, Taylor sought copies of “all documentations generated as a result of performed drug tests…including types of testing performed in this case, testing procedures, reagents and/or solvents used in testing, comparative analyses performed, and number of experiments performed in each test,” as well as “all documents pertaining to the existence and substance of any payments, promises of leniency, preferential treatment or other inducements or threats to prospective witnesses,” and “Disclosure of whether a defendant, or any other person, was identified by lineup, show up, photo spread or similar identification proceeding relating to the offense charged, and production of any pictures utilized or resulting therefrom and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all identifying witnesses.”
In following the request of the defense, Judge Marshall slated the preliminary hearing to begin on June 26 and the suspect was ordered to remain held without bail until that time.
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