Former students of Bryan Kohberger have come forward to discuss a confrontation they had with him weeks before he allegedly murdered four people, RadarOnline.com has learned.
One of the students told The King Road Killings podcast that after a midterm exam, students debated Kohberger about whether he was grading them too harshly.
The confrontation took place in late September or early October, during Kohberger’s first semester as a Ph.D. student at Washington State University. As part of his funding package, he served as a teaching assistant in the school’s criminology program.
The class collectively decided to challenge Kohberger about their grades to earn points back. The student, Hayden Stinchfield, described the interaction as a heated debate, with 50 students questioning Kohberger’s grading practices.
Stinchfield noticed a change in Kohberger’s demeanor following this confrontation. Towards the end of the semester, she observed that he appeared disheveled, with stubble and messy hair.
The student speculated that the stress of finals might have been getting to him. She also noted that Kohberger had altered his grading practices, giving high grades without any notes.
“That was like a turning point, I think for us,” Stinchfield says. “We felt like when we did that, our grades got better.”
Kohberger also seemed “distant” and “a little bit weird,” though never to the point where he raised any “serious red flags,” says Stinchfield.
“He’d look at the ground when he was up at the front of class,” Stinchfield says, adding that Kohberger “never was super engaged with [the students].”
“Later in the semester, like the last time he came was probably a couple weeks before the class ended physically, I remember he looked a little bit more disheveled. He had like some stubble coming on, and his hair was a little, you know, messed up or whatever. Nothing like crazy,” Stinchfield explained. “But enough that I remember seeing him and thinking like, oh man, you know, finals must be really getting to him or something like that.”
“What happened is he started giving everyone, everyone just like high marks and not leaving any notes,” Stinchfield says.
University officials eventually fired Kohberger, citing confrontations with a professor.
Shortly after his dismissal, Kohberger was accused of murdering four University of Idaho students in an off-campus home on King Road. The victims, Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin, were found stabbed to death.
Kohberger now faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary. He has pleaded not guilty, and a trial is scheduled to begin in October.