The parents of Idaho quadruple murder victim Madison Mogen held back tears as they accepted her posthumous diploma — six months after she was slaughtered along with three other students in their off-campus home.
Posthumous bachelor’s degrees were awarded to the families of Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, both of whom were seniors at the time of the November 13 murders. Certificates were issued for Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin.
Mogen’s heartbroken parents tried to keep it together as they took the stage to receive their daughter’s posthumous bachelor’s degree in marketing at the school’s spring graduation ceremony on Saturday. That reports NBC News.
The bodies of Mogen, Goncalves, Kernodle and Chapin were found on November 13, 2022 in their off-campus home near the University of Idaho campus in Moscow.
Bryan Kohberger, 28, was arrested after a six-week manhunt and charged with four counts of first degree murder and burglary. A preliminary hearing will take place on June 26.
Scroll for video
The parents of quadruple murder victim Madison Mogen (left) in Idaho forced back tears as they received her posthumous diploma on Saturday
Posthumous bachelor’s degrees were awarded to the families of Madison Mogen (pictured) and Kaylee Goncalves, both of whom were seniors at the time of the Nov. 13 murders.
The four students were recognized at the university’s graduations on May 13, along with another student who recently died in a car accident, and nearly 3,000 recent graduates.
“Madison’s family will always be a member of the Vandal family,” University President Scott Green said at the ceremony.
“So, thank you for joining us today to celebrate her academic achievements and contributions to the University of Idaho.”
Goncalves’ family received a posthumous bachelor’s degree in general studies on behalf of their daughter at the second commencement ceremony later in the day on Saturday.
Chapin, who was a freshman, got a certificate in recreation, sports, and tourism management, and Kernodle, who was a junior, got a certificate in marketing. Certificates recognize credit for current degrees.
Maddie Mogen (above) Kaylee Goncalves (second from left) Xana Kernodle (second from right) and Ethan Chapin (center) – all students at the University of Idaho – were stabbed to death on November 13 in the quiet college town of Moscow
Bryan Kohberger was arrested after a six-week manhunt and charged with four counts of first degree murder and burglary. A preliminary hearing will take place on June 26
“The University of Idaho continues to amaze us with its unwavering support,” Stacy and Jim Chapin said in the statement.
“We appreciate the school awarding Ethan a posthumous diploma. We also want to recognize the thousands of children who graduate and the hard work they put in to earn their degrees. Our family wishes them all the best.’
The four students were found dead on November 13 in a house where Mogen, Goncalves and Kernodle were roommates. Kernodle’s friend, Chapin, was staying at the time.
Green announced in February that the residence will be demolished as a “healing step” for the community.
“We will never forget Xana, Ethan, Madison and Kaylee, and I will do everything I can to protect their dignity and respect their memory,” Green said in a statement at the time.
Scholarships at the University of Idaho have been instituted and the school is also working on a memorial.
Mogen’s posthumous bachelor’s degree in marketing was accepted by her parents
The four University of Idaho students stabbed to death in their off-campus home are awarded posthumous degrees and certificates. Goncalves, 21, and Mogen, 21, were months away from graduating. They get a general studies and a marketing degree
Xana Kernodle (right), who was a junior, gets a marketing certificate. Meanwhile, Ethan Chapin (left), a college freshman, receives a Recreation, Sports, and Tourism Management Certificate
Kohberger, who is pursuing a doctorate in criminal justice, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and burglary in connection with the stabbings. Prosecutors have yet to announce whether they intend to seek the death penalty.
He will appear on June 26 for this preliminary hearing.
Last week, the defendant’s attorneys filed a motion to postpone a May 22 hearing on the media ban in effect. The lawyers argue that they will not bring an expert witness to the hearing, but that he will not be available on the scheduled date.
The Goncalves family have also asked the lower court judge to lift the gag order because their lawyer must be able to speak on their behalf about the family’s views on the matter. A hearing on Goncalves’ request is scheduled for May 25.
Media organizations have argued that a gag order enforced in the case violates First Amendment rights of a free press.
The order prohibits lawyers, prosecutors, law enforcement and others involved in the case from speaking to the news media unless they quote directly from a court document.
The university where Bryan Kohberger worked was only eight miles from the crime scene
Kaylee Goncalves’ family leaves Latah County court after Kohberger’s first lawsuit
But last week, the Idaho Supreme Court unanimously denied the request, saying the newsgroups should have first asked the lower court to overturn the injunction.
Supreme Court justices did not weigh in on whether the gag order violates First Amendment rights.
“This Court has long respected the role of the media in our constitutional republic and honored the promises made in both the Idaho Constitution and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” Justice Gregory Moeller wrote in the Supreme Court decision.
Yet, Moeller wrote, the balancing act between the First Amendment protections afforded to the press and the Sixth Amendment due process rights promised to defendants has become increasingly difficult with the advent of the Internet and social media.
Highly publicized cases often puzzle judges, who work to protect the defendant’s right to a fair trial.
Courts sometimes believe that controlling the flow of information around the case – by prohibiting those involved from talking about it – is an effective way to limit publicity.
But gag orders can infringe on the First Amendment rights of the public and of the people involved in the case. News organizations covering the courts play a watchdog role, keeping the public informed about how the judiciary works.
During the investigation of the University of Idaho student murders, news organization interviews with detectives and law enforcement often worked to quash misinformation spread online by people who labeled themselves as sleuths on social media sites.