Bryan Kohberger’s attorneys want to ban cameras from courtroom

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Attorneys for Bryan Kohberger, a former Washington State Ph.D. candidate accused of murdering four University of Idaho students last year, have requested that cameras be banned from the courtroom “for the remainder of the proceedings.”

In a new court filing obtained by ABC News, his lawyers contended “camera-wielding courtroom observers have failed to obey” a previous directive issued by Judge John Judge that ordered them not to focus “exclusively” on Kohberger. The defense cited several images they said were a “blatant violation,” as well as headlines they called “blatantly sensationalistic and prejudicial.”

Kohberger’s legal team said the “continued exclusive focus” on their client also provides “fodder” for those on social media “who are not bound by notions of journalistic integrity and who have potentially an even greater reach than traditional media outlets.” They also argued such content could prejudice a potential jury pool.

“Far from constituting an undue and over restrictive burden on the press’ right of free speech,” his lawyers said, “Mr. Kohberger is entitled to defend himself against capital criminal charges without cameras focused on his fly.”

The request comes after Kohberger waived his right to a speedy trial during a status conference on Wednesday. His attorney, Anne Taylor, spoke on his behalf and said she may not be ready for the trial, which was initially scheduled for October.

Kohberger is facing four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary in connection with the deaths of 21-year-olds Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen, 20-year-old Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, also 20. All four students were found fatally stabbed inside a Moscow home, not far from the University of Idaho campus, on Nov. 14.

Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.