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The Week Ahead: Bryan Kohberger in court, and former football star’s murder trial begins


Law&Crime Network will be covering the following trials this week. You can watch trials live on our website and YouTube page.

ID v Bryan Kohberger

Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students, is escorted to an extradition hearing at the Monroe County Courthouse in Stroudsburg, Pa., Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, Pool)

Bryan Kohberger (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, Pool)

Bryan Kohberger is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in their off-campus, Moscow apartment. So far, prosecutors have not provided a motive behind the crimes, or a connection linking Kohberger to the victims: Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin.

Dylan Mortensen (left) and Bethany Funke (right), and victims Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen (on Kaylee’s shoulders), Ethan Chapin, and Xana Kernodle (hugging)

Dylan Mortensen (left) and Bethany Funke (right), and victims Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen (on Kaylee’s shoulders), Ethan Chapin, and Xana Kernodle (hugging).

Last week, Kohberger was indicted by a grand jury for the quadruple murder — avoiding a preliminary hearing in June that was expected to last at least a week while the state presented the evidence against him. Instead, Kohberger and his defense team are scheduled to appear in court for his arraignment Monday at 9 a.m. He is expected to enter a not guilty plea.

Before his arrest, Kohberger had been pursuing a doctorate in criminology at Washington State University, about 10 miles away from the Idaho crime scene.

GA v Richard Merritt

Richard Merritt (US Marshals)

Richard Merritt is currently on trial for the murder of his 77-year-old mother Shirley Merritt. The disgraced attorney allegedly killed her on the day he was supposed to report to prison for unrelated financial crimes in February 2019.

Prosecutors claim Richard stabbed and bludgeoned Shirley to death with a kitchen knife and 35-pound dumbbell. Crime scene investigators said pots and pans were out on the stove filled with spaghetti and sauce — detectives believe Shirley was making Richard his favorite meal before heading behind bars.

Shirley Merritt

Immediately after the murder, Richard took off from Georgia to Tennessee where he lived under a new alias. He got a job at a bar, started online dating, and met a new girlfriend. Eight months later, US Marshals caught up with Richard and arrested him for the horrifying crime.

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Last week, jurors heard from Richard’s ex-wife about their relationship and his shift in behavior when he was accused and arrested for the financial crimes. Crime scene detectives also painted a picture of the murder scene and were questioned about the evidence found at Shirley’s home.

FL v Travis Rudolph

Travis Rudolph (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

Opening statements are expected to begin Monday morning for Florida man Travis Rudolph, who is accused of killing a man in Lake Park in April 2021. The former Florida State University wide receiver tried to claim a “stand your ground” defense in the first-degree murder trial.

On the night of the crime, Rudolph had just gotten into a fight with his girlfriend at his home in West Palm Beach. According to a probable cause affidavit, the fight escalated when four men confronted Rudolph at the home — Rudolph grabbed a gun and shot at the group as they ran off.

Sebastien Jean-Jacques

Two of the men were shot: Sebastien Jean-Jacques was killed and Tyler Robinson was hospitalized but recovered.

Rudolph is considered one of FSU’s all time leaders in catches and yards. He later played with the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins but ended up getting injured.

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