The University of Idaho will postpone the demolition of the house where four college students were fatally stabbed until October, a delay the school’s president described Wednesday as «the right thing to do.»
“We know that every action and decision surrounding this horrific incident is painful and emotionally eliciting,” University of Idaho President Scott Green said in a statement. «That’s why every decision we’ve made so far is with the families of the victims and our students in mind.»
An attorney representing the family of victim Kaylee Goncalves criticized the planned demolition last month, saying school officials had asked the victims’ families for their input on what to do with the home, but «then proceeded to ignore those inputs.» and pursue their own interests. .”
«Holding the demonstration of the King Rd house until after the trial would honor the wishes of the families and support the judicial process if the prosecution, defense or juries need the house in the future,» attorney Shanon Gray said in a statement. release. «The house itself has enormous probative value, as well as being the largest and one of the most important pieces of evidence in the case.»
«Thank you to the University of Idaho for honoring the wishes of the families by not demoing the King Rd. house,» Gray said in an email Wednesday.
The owner of the three-story, six-bedroom house, which is less than a mile from the school’s main campus in Moscow, previously turned the house over to the university after the killings.
Crews began removing students’ personal items from the home earlier this month in preparation for demolition, the school said.
“The university is working to make those items discreetly and respectfully available to families in the coming weeks,” the school said Wednesday.
Ethan Chapin, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Goncalves, 21, were found dead on November 13.
Bryan Kohberger, 28, was arrested Dec. 30 for the murders and charged in May with four counts of first-degree murder. Kohberger, who was pursuing a doctorate in criminal justice at a nearby university at the time of his arrest, has pleaded not guilty.
The trial is scheduled to begin on October 2.
Prosecutors said last month they plan to apply the death penalty in the case.
Moots Sumiko contributed.