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Moscow murder suspect returned to Idaho to stand trial

Connor Henricksen/Northwest Public Broadcasting
Kohberger is escorted off the plane at the Moscow-Pullman Airport on Wednesday evening.

Bryan Kohberger is now in the Latah County jail.

Bryan Kohberger, the suspect in the slaying of four University of Idaho students, arrived last night to face charges in Moscow.

Kohberger was taken to a jail cell in the Latah County Courthouse Wednesday night after arriving by plane from Pennsylvania.

News outlets from across the nation have been hanging around the Latah County Courthouse parking lot this week, eagerly awaiting word of Kohberger’s trial.

Moscow resident Becker Gooch went to the courthouse to take care of her taxes amid the swarm. She says she feels relieved the community might soon get some closure.

“We have to keep a really open mind that this gentleman is innocent until proven guilty. And that's, I think that's harder for some people," she said.

Latah County Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall issued a gag order for the case. That will prevent law enforcement from releasing any more information to the public, or the media.

But reporters will be allowed to cover the case from the courtroom, and Marshall’s order is not expected to hamper the release of documents related to Kohberger’s arrest.

With all the sensationalism around the case, University of Idaho law professor Richard Seamon says the trial could be moved out of Moscow.

"It's entirely possible the defendant will seek to change venue, that's the legal term for it, of having the case tried in a different court, somewhere else in Idaho. The idea there would be that the defendant is more likely to get a fair trial, if the jury is drawn from a community of people who have less knowledge of, and involvement, and feelings about the case," he said.

Seamon says the prosecution might resist a venue change, on the grounds that the trial should take place in the community where the students were killed. Kohberger will face his first court date in Idaho soon.