“He has to pay”: Idaho murder victim Kaylee Goncalves’ family seeks death penalty for Bryan Kohberger

Kaylee
Kaylee's parents seek death penalty for Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger (right), (Images via 𝖌𝖎𝖓𝖆. and Powerofwoman/Twitter)

Bryan Kohberger, the suspect in an Idaho murder spree, was arrested in December 2022. Steve and Kristi, the parents of deceased student Kaylee Goncalves, requested the death penalty for the criminology doctoral student. The parents had initially defended Kaylee’s ex-boyfriend Jack DuCoeur, adding that he had nothing to do with the crime.

On Thursday, Kristi and Steve Goncalves mentioned that they were ready to forgive Bryan Kohberger for his wrongdoing, but only after he pays “for what he’s done.” In an interview with NewsNation, they said that only the death penalty for Kohberger would bring complete justice to what happened to the victim. Kaylee’s father Steve Goncalves said:

“We will forgive this individual, but he has to pay for what he’s done. And it’s not just our daughter, it’s all the victims he needs to pay justice to.”

28-year-old Bryan Kohberger reportedly did not enter a plea, and if convicted, he could face life imprisonment or even death.


What did Bryan Kohberger do? Crime and trial explored as murder victim Kaylee’s parents demand death penalty

On December 30, 2022, 28-year-old Bryan Kohberger was arrested on suspicion of brutally murdering four Idaho students, later identified as Ethan Chapion, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen, and Kaylee Goncalves.

Later, on January 5, law enforcement officials released information revealing how they linked Bryan to the crime scene. He allegedly left DNA evidence at the scene, eventually leading to his arrest from his Albrightsville home.

Kaylee’s parents, Steve and Kristi Goncalves, made headlines previously when they showed full support to Kaylee's ex-boyfriend, saying that they believed he was not involved in the murders.

At Bryan’s extradition hearing on Tuesday, Judge Margherita Worthington had asked him about his mental health:

“Mr. Kohberger, do you suffer from any mental health diagnosis or take any prescribed medication or medication that would impact your ability to understand what we are doing here today?”

To the above question, Bryan responded with a “No.”

On Tuesday, Bryan reportedly agreed to be extradited from Pennsylvania to Idaho in order to face charges related to the murder of the four Idaho students.


What else did Kaylee's parents say?

During the NewsNation interview, host Ashleigh Banfield asked Kaylee's parents Steve and Kristi about their thoughts on the death penalty for Bryan Kohberger. Banfield asked them if they were in favor of the death penalty. Kaylee’s parents agreed to it. Steve further mentioned:

“If our daughters could switch places with him—and I'm saying Maddie [Mogen, Kaylee's friend since sixth grade] as my daughter—we’d do it in a heartbeat.”

He continued:

“If they could sit there and have three squares [a reference to prison meals], a place to live, we could call them, we could write them letters, they could watch TV, they could get educated.”

Kaylee’s distraught mother Kristi said:

“I would love it if Maddie and Kaylee were doing life in prison right now. At least we could talk to them.”

Kaylee's grieving father also added:

“Justice is when you leave the planet, and the whole world is able to rejoice and be glad that you’re not there.”

Idaho is one of the 27 states where the practice of the death penalty still exists. Kristi Goncalves spoke about the matter and said:

“We’re glad that we live in Idaho.”

The New York Post has also reported that even if prosecutors seek the death penalty for Bryan Kohberger, it’s quite unlikely that the same will be executed. Idaho's Death Penalty Information Center specified that only three people have been executed since the resumption of the practice in 1976.


In a previous interview, Steve Goncalves had mentioned that had Bryan known Kaylee personally, he could not have killed her. The family is also reportedly trying to establish a link between their deceased daughter Kaylee and Bryan.

Law enforcement officials mentioned that Bryan had allegedly stabbed the four students multiple times. Bryan Kohberger is said to be making his next appearance in court on Thursday, January 12, 2023. Media outlets are trying to contact Brayn’s public defender for comment on the condition of the case.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal
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