Idaho murder suspect stopped in Indiana
(WXIN) – A man arrested in connection with the deaths of four University of Idaho students had a brush with police in Indiana – twice – while driving back to Pennsylvania last month.
Indiana State Police and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department confirmed 28-year-old Bryan Christopher Kohberger was pulled over twice within a nine-minute timespan on I-70 in December. He wasn’t given a ticket for either traffic stop.
Kohberger’s attorney, Jason LaBar, told CNN that his client had been stopped in Indiana twice: once for speeding and a second time for following another car too closely.
Kohberger and his father were making the 2,500-mile drive from Washington state to Pennsylvania for the holidays. His father had flown to Washington in order to accompany his son on the drive, LaBar said.
The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Kohberger was pulled over by a deputy at around 10:41 a.m. on Dec. 15 for following too closely. He was given a verbal warning.
The sheriff’s department confirmed Kohberger and another man were visible on the deputy’s bodycam. The footage has not been released, however, due to being included in the Idaho criminal investigation.
Indiana State Police then confirmed that Kohberger was pulled over less than 10 minutes later at approximately 10:50 a.m. for speeding. The trooper, having learned Kohberger was just stopped minutes before by a deputy from Hancock County, “used his discretion and released the two men with a verbal warning,” state police said.
Kohberger was the driver in both situations, according to police review of bodycam footage, and his father was in the passenger seat.
Indiana State Police released body camera footage of the second incident and stated they plan to send it to investigators in Idaho to see if it has any relevance in their investigation.
Both law enforcement agencies confirmed Kohberger had been driving a white Hyundai Elantra, which media reports stated had been seen in or around where the slayings of 21-year-olds Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen, and 20-year-olds Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin occurred in Idaho on Nov. 13.
Both state police and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department stated, however, that at the time of the traffic stops on Dec. 15 no information had been made available about a possible suspect vehicle or license plate or state for said vehicle.
Authorities announced Kohberger’s arrest in connection with the killings of the University of Idaho students on Dec. 30.
Kohberger is a graduate student at Washington State University and lives in Pullman, Washington, which is near the border with Idaho. He had just completed his first semester as a doctoral student in WSU’s criminal justice and criminology department and served as a teaching assistant.
He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and a count of felony burglary. Kohberger is expected to waive extradition so he can be returned to Idaho to face charges.
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