The mother of Ethan Chapin, one of four University of Idaho students killed at an off-campus home in November, says her family will not attend the suspect’s trial because it would not be “well spent.”
Stacy Chapin, Chapin’s mother, stated on NBC’s “TODAY” show on Monday that her family is committed to carrying on her son’s legacy through their foundation, Ethan’s Smile, which gives scholarships to University of Idaho students, and her new children’s book, “The Boy Who Wore Blue.”
Her family has prioritized fixing with one another over the suspect, who will stand trial in the the fall season.
The trial “does not change the outcome of our family, and it’s energy that we need to put into healing our kids and getting back to a new family dynamic,” Chapin said. “We let the prosecutors do their job and we do our job in our family.”
She remembered her son as “the greatest kid.”
“Everyone loved him. He was warm, he was inclusive, he was the kid you wanted to hang out with. He was always game to participate in anything,” she said. “He was kind.”
She said her family has been shocked by the outpouring of love from those who met Ethan, many of whom have stopped to tell them how he changed their lives in some way.
“He was that way from the very beginning. He was born happy. He was just magnanimous. I don’t know how to really explain it,” Chapin said.
She proudly showed off a tattoo on her arm that read, “I love you, mom,” in her son’s handwriting.
The family’s first interview since the suspect, Bryan Kohberger, pled not guilty to four charges of first-degree murder and burglary in an Idaho court last month was on Monday.
Ethan Chapin, 20, was a freshman from Washington who was studying recreation, sport, and tourist management at the University of Idaho in Moscow. Investigators said he was staying at a home shared by his girlfriend and four other college students on Nov. 13.
Chapin and his fiancée, Xana Kernodle, 20, as well as housemates Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, all 21, were stabbed to death. Two other housemates were there at the time but were not implicated, according to Moscow police.
According to authorities, the murder weapon, a fixed-blade knife, has not been recovered.
The four slayings shook the small campus community and sparked thousands of reports to the FBI, culminating in late December with the arrest of Kohberger, a doctoral student of criminology at Washington State University, less than 10 miles from the University of Idaho.
Kohberger was apprehended at his family’s Pennsylvania home.
According to a probable cause document, investigators matched male DNA found on a knife sheath found in a bedroom to Kohberger and analyzed surveillance video from the location where a white Hyundai Elantra owned by Kohberger was sighted.
The reason behind this remains unclear. Authorities have not disclosed if Kohberger knew the victims or why he chose them or the home to attack.
Kohberger, 28, exercised his right to stay silent during his arraignment last month rather than submit a spoken plea to the murder charges, forcing a district judge to enter not guilty pleas on his behalf.
Kohberger, who remains in the Latah County Jail without bail, is scheduled to stand trial in early October.