Bryan Kohberger’s attorneys warn people’s lives may be in danger in Idaho murders trial

Prosecutors also said that Bryan Kohberger did not stalk one of the victims prior to the killings

Andrea Cavallier
Thursday 11 April 2024 22:18 BST
Prosecutor Says It’s False That Bryan Kohberber Stalked One Of The Victims

Bryan Kohberger’s defence attorneys have warned that people’s lives may be in danger during his trial for the University of Idaho murders.

Mr Kohberger, a 29-year-old PhD criminal justice student, is accused of killing four students in their off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho, in November 2022. His trial date has not yet been set.

His attorney Anne Taylor filed a motion with the prosecution on 4 April requesting that discovery requests be placed under seal because “the documents contain facts or statements that might threaten or endanger the life or safety of individuals”.

The motion warns that the full release of discovery “would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy”.

In response to Ms Taylor’s motion, the state said the release of discovery evidence could “disclose the identity of a confidential source”.

It was unclear who the evidence may endanger or who the possible confidential sources in the case may be.

Bryan Kohberger is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November 2022 (Getty)

The filing comes as both parties returned to court last week where they argued over the defence contacting Latah County residents to determine whether the jury pool could be biased.

In a further hearing about the issue on Wednesday, Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson questioned a defence expert who performed the phone survey, pointing out that the survey was “loaded questions and some are factually incorrect”.

During the hearing, prosecutors also appeared to pour cold water on speculation about Mr Kohberger’s connection to some of the victims.

“It’s false that Bryan Kohberber allegedly stalked one of the victims, you know that,” Mr Thompson told the expert in court, according to NewsNation’s Brian Entin.

He added that the expert should not “go around screwing the knowledge that prospective jurors may have or may not have”.

Mr Thompson said that the survey questions violated gag orders in the case and possible jurors were “injected” with information, The Lewiston Tribune reported, adding that the “survey cannot stand”.

The judge overseeing the case criticised the survey questions last week calling it a “total shock” to him and said: “Because this is a big deal, and I take it very, very seriously. And I was surprised that this was happening behind our backs.”

Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were killed on 13 November (Instagram)

Mr Kohberger’s defence attorney said the legal team was conducting the survey to support their argument that the trial should be moved to a different county.

She said the poll showed the jury pool was biased. No decision has yet been made on the matter.

Mr Kohberger faces four counts of murder in the first degree and one count of felony burglary in the fatal stabbings of Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20.

The students were found stabbed to death in an off-campus rental house in Moscow on 13 November 2022.

The military-style knife, believed to be the weapon, has never been recovered, however, a knife sheath was found near one of the victims. That sheath contained DNA which was then matched to Mr Kohberger, according to authorities.

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