Attorney Mark NeJame warned that rogue jurors could happen with "greater frequency, the more the media is willing to pay people."
THE judge presiding over Bryan Kohberger's impending quadruple murder trial can not let the proceeding turn into a circus if cameras are allowed in the courtroom, a legal expert has warned.
A potential summer trial date is being targeted for the high-profile case of the murders of University of Idaho students Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, both 22, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin, both 21.
Goncalves, Mogen, Kernodle, and Chapin were found stabbed to death in their second and third-floor rooms in their off-campus home on King Road in Moscow, Idaho, in the early hours of November 13, 2022.
Over a month after the grisly murders, authorities arrested Kohberger, 29, and charged him with four counts of first-degree murder.
Kohberger's trial was initially scheduled to start in October but was indefinitely delayed after he waived his right to a speedy trial a month before.
Now, prosecutors are requesting the trial to start next summer to avoid coinciding with dates when local high schools and colleges are in session.
The University of Idaho's spring semester ends on May 10, 2024, while Moscow High School's classes end in the first full week of June.
Eyes will be on Moscow, Idaho, for the start of the trial, and with it, reporters from across the nation will descend into the small rural town.
News stations have filed court documents requesting their cameras be allowed to videotape any future proceedings involving Kohberger, a motion Judge John Judge has banned, citing the defendant's right to a fair trial.
However, Judge Judge said the court would operate a live stream, using its own cameras, which will be available on its YouTube channel for the public to see.
'15 SECONDS OF FAME'
Legal expert Mark NeJame, a defense attorney with NeJame Law in Florida, warned that cameras in the courtroom could affect the decision of a juror looking for their "15 seconds of fame."
"What it can do, and we've seen it in some cases, particularly in this media-driven culture that we're in, who have been in high-profile cases and it's affected their [jurors] decisions, so they can sell their story or get on TV," NeJame exclusively told The U.S. Sun.
"So that can happen that way, where it might influence a juror who is looking for their 15 seconds of fame. It's not unusual.
"It's going to happen with greater frequency, the more the media is willing to pay people, and more people want to be on TV.
"There's going to be a huge public discourse on this [about Kohberger's trial potentially being live streamed], people are going to be debating, and sometimes this makes celebrities out of the court participants."
In South Carolina, a circuit court is currently reviewing a retrial motion filed by convicted killer Alex Murdaugh's attorney.
The scathing 65-page motion filed in September accuses county clerk Rebecca Hill of jury tampering in order to obtain a book deal.
Hill's book Behind the Doors of Justice: The Murdaugh Murders was released in August, five months after Murdaugh was convicted of the double murders of his wife and son.
Murdaugh's lawyers, Dick Harpootlain and Jim Griffin, accused Hill of swaying the jury to reach a speedy conviction.
They also claim she had "frequent private conversations with the jury foreperson" to entice a guilty verdict.
Meanwhile, in December 2022, the criminal rape case against Adventures With Purpose founder Jared Leisek was halted after a YouTuber streamed the proceedings live, which is against Utah state law.
A date for a potential Leisek trial has not been set.
NeJame's message to Judge Judge is to lay down the gavel and hold order in the courtroom for all future proceedings.
"Hopefully, there's a strong judge who respects the fact that he or she has allowed cameras and that people have the right to know, but will also not let it turn into a three-ring circus," NeJame said.
Kohberger, who has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder, is currently being held without bond at the Latah County Jail, less than two miles from the murder scene.
He faces the death penalty if convicted.
Source: The U.S. Sun