The parents of slain University of Idaho student Kaylee Goncalves said Thursday night they’ll forgive accused killer Bryan Kohberger – but not until he pays “for what he’s done.”
Steve and Kristi Goncalves opened up again about the case in an interview with NewsNation and revealed that justice, to them, means the death penalty for the 28-year-old criminology doctoral student accused of killing their daughter and three other students.
“We will forgive this individual and we will, but he has to pay for what he’s done,” Steve Gonclaves told Ashleigh Banfield. “And it’s not just our daughter, it’s all the victims he needs to pay justice to.”
Asked by Banfield how justice would be paid, the grieving father said: “For me, it’s gonna look a lot like an end.”
He added that sitting in prison, with access to books, schooling and three meals a day wouldn’t cut it for the family.
“Justice is when you leave the planet, and the whole world is able to rejoice and be glad that you’re not there,” he said.
Sticking to the topic, Banfield asked both parents outright if they support the death penalty for Kohberger – and they both said they do.
“If you want to play god’s role, you’re gonna have to go answer to him,” Steve Gonclaves said.
Kohberger, who made his first appearance in a Moscow, Idaho, court Thursday, has been charged with four counts of murder in the Nov. 13 slayings. The other victims he’s accused of killing are Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20.
The alleged murderer did not enter a plea during Thursday’s hearing. If convicted on any of the four murder charges, Kohberger could face up to life in prison or death.
But even if prosecutors do seek the death penalty for Kohberger, it’s unlikely the punishment will be carried out.
According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Idaho has only executed three people since the practice resumed in 1976.
The state’s last inmate to be executed, Richard Albert Leavitt, spent 26 years on death row before dying by lethal injection in 2012.