Bryan Kohberger Was Fired As Teaching Assistant Days Before Arrest—Report

Bryan Kohberger, the suspect in the slayings of four University of Idaho students, was reportedly fired from his job as a teaching assistant days before his arrest.

Kohberger, 28, is accused of breaking into a rental home in Moscow, Idaho, and fatally stabbing Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, in the early hours of November 13.

At the time of the killings, Kohberger was a doctoral candidate in criminology and teaching assistant at Washington State University in nearby Pullman.

But Kohberger had received several warnings from the university in the months before his arrest and was terminated from his teaching assistant position on December 19, NewsNation's Ashleigh Banfield reported on Tuesday, citing multiple unnamed sources.

Just days before the reported firing, Kohberger had embarked on a cross-country drive to his parents' home in Pennsylvania—during which he was under surveillance by FBI agents. He was arrested there on December 30.

Bryan Kohberger enters during a hearing
Bryan Kohberger enters a hearing in Latah County District Court, Idaho, on January 5. Ted S. Warren/Pool-Getty Images

He is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary. He has yet to enter a plea, although his lawyer in Pennsylvania previously said he was "eager to be exonerated. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for late June.

According to Banfield, a letter that was given to Kohberger before he was terminated stated that he had a "sexist attitude" towards women he interacted with at the university, was "rude" to women and graded them differently to men.

The letter also reportedly detailed a timeline of events leading up to Kohberger's termination, beginning with an alleged "altercation" with a professor on September 23, just weeks into the job.

Banfield said the letter states that Kohberger and the professor then met on October 3 to discuss "professional behavior." The professor reportedly emailed Kohberger on October 21 to tell him he had failed to meet the expectations set out in the meeting earlier that month.

They met again on November 12 to discuss an "improvement plan." Another meeting was held on December 7 to discuss how that plan was going.

On December 9, Kohberger reportedly had a second altercation with the professor. His post was officially terminated 10 days later.

Phil Weiler, vice president of marketing and communications at Washington State University, told Newsweek that Kohberger had received an appointment as a teaching assistant in the fall 2022 semester, but "does not currently have a teaching assistantship and he is not currently enrolled at WSU."

"It is typical for students to receive a teaching assistantship or similar appointment as part of their PhD program," he added.

Weiler declined to provide further details, saying information "concerning a student's teaching assistantship is considered a student record" and universities were prevented from discussing student records by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

"As a result, I am unable to comment on Mr. Kohberger's experience as a teaching assistant," he said.

Update 02/09/23, 8:40 a.m. ET: This article was updated to add comments from Phil Weiler of Washington State University.