Costs stemming from U of I homicides exceed $1.2 million

The University of Idaho has spent more than $1.2 million in the aftermath of an off-campus quadruple homicide.

And as the university proceeds with its plan to tear down the murder scene, it will have to use some of its budget reserves to cover the costs.

“The expenditures related to the King Road house are ongoing, and have included security, removal of personal items for retrieval by family members, and remediation of hazardous substances in preparation for tearing down the existing structure,” President C. Scott Green said in an Aug. 1 letter to the Legislature. “We expect further expenditures in the future as we demolish the King Road property.”

In the letter — required by state law — Green outlined the U of I’s expenses stemming from the slayings. A one-page report spelled out how the U of I spent an extra $1 million allocated during the 2023 legislative session, and an additional $217,000 the U of I expects to spend by Sept. 30.

Not surprisingly, increased security accounts for much of the cost. The U of I spent close to $475,000 to beef up its campus security and hire third-party security staff. An additional $240,000 went to Idaho State Police, including meals and lodging for troopers dispatched to the campus and Moscow after the slayings.

Meanwhile, consultants received close to $325,000 to review the U of I’s security plans.

Costs related to the King Road house total close to $98,000, so far.

The house’s owner donated the property to the U of I in February, and university officials have said they plan to tear down the house. But the demolition plans are on hold until October, after some of the victims’ families asked the university for a delay until the suspect in the slayings stands trial.

Four U of I students — Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Wash.; Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls; and Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene — were found stabbed to death on Nov. 13 in the King Road house. The slayings prompted some students to leave the campus for the remaining weeks of fall semester, despite the increased security presence on and off campus.

Bryan Kohberger, a Washington State University graduate student, was arrested on Dec. 30 in connection to the killings. His first-degree murder trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 2.

Requested by Gov. Brad Little, the $1 million supplemental budget was not expected to cover all of the U of I’s costs stemming from the slayings.

The 2023 Legislature approved the spending bill, over the objections of hardline conservative lawmakers — largely from North Idaho, and districts near the U of I campus. One such opponent was Sen. Dan Foreman, R-Moscow, who represents Latah County.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday