Mother of slain Idaho student Ethan Chapin says her family

Nabil Anas

Global Courant

The mother of Ethan Chapin, one of four University of Idaho students murdered in an off-campus home in November, says her family will not be present at the trial of the accused killer because it would not be “well spent.” would be energy.

Chapin’s mother, Stacy Chapin, said on NBC’s “TODAY” show Monday that her family is committed to keeping her son’s legacy alive through their “Ethan’s Smile” foundation, which provides scholarships to students at the University of Idaho, and her new children’s book “The Boy Who Wore Blue.”

Her family is focused on healing with each other rather than the suspect, who is due to appear in court in the fall.

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“(The process) doesn’t change the outcome of our family and it’s the energy we need to heal our kids and get back to a new family dynamic,” Stacy Chapin said. “We let the prosecutors do their job and we do our job in our family.”

Stacy remembered her son as “the best boy.”

“Everyone loved him. He was warm, he was inclusive, he was the guy you wanted to hang out with. He was always willing to participate in something,” she said. “He was nice.”

Ethan Chapin. Thanks to the Chapin family

She said her family was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from people Ethan encountered, often stopping her family from telling them how he had impacted their lives in some way.

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“He was like that from the start. He was born lucky. He was just magnanimous. I don’t know how to really explain it,” Stacy said.

Stacy proudly showed off a tattoo on her arm that read “I love you mom” written in her son’s handwriting.

Monday’s segment marked the family’s first interview since suspect Bryan Kohberger pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and burglary in an Idaho court last month.

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A timeline of the stabbings in Idaho

Chapin was a 20-year-old freshman from Washington State majoring in recreation, sports and tourism management at the University of Idaho. On the early morning of Nov. 13, he was staying at the house where his girlfriend and four other students lived, investigators said.

Chapin and girlfriend Xana Kernodle, 20, and roommates Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, both 21, were fatally stabbed. Two other housemates were home at the time but were not involved, Moscow police said. The murder weapon, believed to be a knife with a fixed blade, has not been recovered, according to police.

The quadruple murders, which stunned Moscow’s small college community and netted thousands of tips to the FBI, culminated in the late December arrest of Bryan Kohberger, a doctoral student of criminology at Washington State University, less than 10 miles from Moscow University. . Idaho.

Kohberger was arrested at his family’s home in Pennsylvania.

Investigators said they traced male DNA found on a knife sheath found in a bedroom in the home the victims shared with Kohberger, and also reviewed security video of the area where a white Hyundai Elantra — the same vehicle as that of Kohberger, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Police tape surrounds the home where four University of Idaho students were found dead in Moscow, Idaho, on Nov. 13, 2022.Ted S. Warren / AP file

A motive for the killings remains unclear. Authorities have not said whether Kohberger knew the victims or why he allegedly attacked them or the home.

During his arraignment last month, Kohberger, 28, exercised his right to remain silent instead of taking an oral plea in the murder charge against him, prompting a district court judge to plead not guilty on his behalf.

Kohberger, who is still being held without bail at the Latah County Jail, is expected to go on trial in early October.

Prosecutors have until the end of July to announce whether they will seek the death penalty, which recently expanded in Idaho to include execution by firing squad, another option amid a shortage of lethal injection drugs.

Kohberger’s public defender, Anne Taylor, has declined to comment in the wake of a gag order issued in January barring law enforcement and other officials from speaking publicly about the case. A coalition of news organizations is challenging the injunction and a hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Few details have been released in recent months, though search warrants have revealed items seized from the Kohberger family’s home in Pennsylvania and in Pullman, Washington, including gloves and face masks.

From top left Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle.

Stacy called her children’s book “The Boy Who Wore Blue” “the best thing I can do for (Ethan).”

Although the book’s main character is unnamed, he reflects her son’s life: he was born in October as triplets, loved sports and wore the color blue, and worked at a tulip farm as a young adult.

“Life is so short, so do your best,” the book reads.

Ethan Chapin was the first to be born of his triplet siblings – brother, Hunter, and sister, Maizie, who are students at the University of Idaho.

He had been dating Kernodle, a junior at the school majoring in marketing since spring of last year, friends said.

In an Oct. 29 Instagram post, Kernodle wished him a happy birthday, saying life was “so much better with you in it.”

Mother of slain Idaho student Ethan Chapin says her family

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