According to the filing, the Latah County Prosecutor’s Office alleges Bryan Kohberger killed Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin in a way that was "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity," and that he "exhibited utter disregard for human life."
The filing said the prosecutor’s office will "continue to review additional information as it is received, and reserves its statutory right to amend or withdraw this notice."
In March, Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed a law that goes into effect next week that will authorize using a firing squad as the form of execution for inmates on death row. According to the Idaho Death Penalty Information Center, "The law gives the director of the Idaho Department of Correction up to five days after a death warrant is issued to determine if lethal injection is available. If it is declared unavailable, the execution will be performed by firing squad."
Death by firing squad will reportedly cost the state $750,000.
One inmate, Gerald Pizzuto Jr., had his execution stayed because the state could not access lethal injection drugs.
The Death Penalty Information Center says Idaho "may become the first state to mandatorily impose it on a death row prisoner since 1976."
Kohberger is accused of killing the four students at their home on King Street near the University of Idaho in the early hours of Nov. 13, 2022. At the scene, investigators reportedly found a Ka-Bar knife sheath near Goncalves’ and Mogen’s bodies.
According to court documents, investigators at the Idaho State Police Lab reportedly found a piece of DNA on the sheath and used it to form a short tandem repeat (STR) analysis, which "involves looking at 20 regions within human DNA and allows law enforcement of make a direct comparison between two STR DNA profiles."
Investigators submitted the STR DNA profile to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and did not find a match. Then, they used investigative genetic genealogy, which "allows individuals to trace their lineage or connect with unknown family members using DNA."
By doing that, investigators reportedly found a link to Kohberger, saying the STR profile "is at least 5.37 octillion times more likely to be seen if Defendant is the source than if an unrelated individual randomly selected from the general population is the source."
NBC News reports Kohberger’s attorney refuted in a court filing, "Rather than seeing it as some sort of complex tree building that led to him, it appears far more like a lineup where the government was already aware of who they wanted to target."
Kohberger is in custody at the Latah County Jail and is being held without bond.