A video of a second traffic stop of Bryan Kohberger and his father as they traveled cross-country through Indiana in December shows the accused murderer talking with a sheriff’s deputy who had pulled him over for driving dangerously close to other cars.
The video, captured by a sheriff’s deputy in Hancock County, Indiana, was released Wednesday. It shows Kohberger behind the wheel of the 2015 white Hyundai Elantra that he drove from Washington State to Pennsylvania. He was pulled over on I-70 near the 107 mile marker on Dec. 15, 2022.
The video shows the sheriff’s deputy approaching the Elantra on the passenger side and asking for Kohberger’s driver’s license. Kohberger complies, looking at the deputy and handing his license over.
“You were right up there on the back end of that van,” the deputy tells Kohberger. “I pulled you over for tailgating.”
During the brief encounter, Kohberger’s father, Michael Kohberger, tells the deputy they are coming from WSU — short for Washington State University — where Bryan Kohberger had just completed his first semester of his PhD studies in criminology and criminal justice. The attorney who represented Kohberger during his extradition hearing in Pennsylvania told Law&Crime that Michael Kohberger had planned before the beginning of the school year to fly to Washington to make the drive home with his son for Christmas break.
“We’re slightly punchy,” Michael Kohberger tells the deputy in the footage. “We’ve been driving for hours.”
Bryan Kohberger and his father go on to tell the deputy about an incident on the WSU campus involving a SWAT team shooting a man after a standoff. Michael Kohberger called it “horrifying.”
The deputy then asks whether Bryan Kohberger worked at WSU.
“I actually do work there,” the accused killer replies. Kohberger was a teaching assistant in a criminal justice class during his first semester.
“Don’t follow too close,” the deputy says after handing back Kohberger’s license. “Appreciate you.”
The entire encounter lasted less than three minutes.
It was the first of two traffic stops involving Kohberger that day. The murder suspect was stopped roughly 10 minutes later, again on I-70 — this time by Indiana State Police.
Body worn camera footage from that incident shows that an Indiana State Police trooper pulled over the Kohbergers citing the same reason: following too closely. Video from that encounter was released Tuesday.
During the second stop by Indiana State Police, the state trooper does not appear to ask for Kohberger’s driver’s license, although he did ask him whether he was afraid to fly. However, the trooper did not issue a warning or citation and did not run Kohberger’s driver’s license through his computer system.
There has been some speculation that the traffic stops were part of a cross-country surveillance operation by Moscow Police, Idaho State Police, and the FBI. However, Indiana State Police released a statement saying that wasn’t the case.
“There was no information available on a suspect for the crime in Idaho, to include identifying information or any specific information related to the license plate state or number of the white Hyundai Elantra which was being reported in the media to have been seen in or around where the crime occurred,” the statement said.
Kohberger was taken into custody around 1:45 a.m on Friday, Dec. 30 at his parents’ home in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania. He faces four counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Kaylee Goncalves, Maddie Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin. The four University of Idaho students were found stabbed to death on Nov. 13 at a home near campus.
Kohberger said in a statement through his attorney that he wants to return to Idaho so he can be “exonerated.” Documents charging him with the murders remain sealed until Kohberger’s arrival in Idaho from Pennsylvania.
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