Kohberger’s trial will largely focus on DNA evidence

Judge imposed strict guidelines ahead of October 2nd trial date.
Published: Aug. 20, 2023 at 9:52 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The suspect at the center of the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students appeared in court on Friday for a contentious pretrial hearing at the Latah County Courthouse in Moscow. Defense attorneys for Bryan Kohberger are focusing on the DNA evidence at the center of the case.

Kohberger walked into the courtroom, as the families of the murder victims observed behind the defense table in the courts seating gallery. The 28-year-old Pennsylvania man is charged in the stabbing deaths of four students last November at their off-campus house on King Road. During the pretrial hearing on Friday the defense questioned the validity of the DNA found on the knife sheath that allegedly connects Kohberger to the murders. His attorneys are demanding more information about that DNA from the prosecutors, and they argue that he’s innocent and was out driving around alone at the time of the murders on November 13, 2022.

Kohberger’s defense team told the court “They have provided full discovery for the sheath, the DNA evidence found on the knife sheath. But not the other three unidentified male DNA samples.” Judge John Judge did not make a ruling on the matter, and also denied a motion by the defense to delay the trial.

Prosecutors responded to the defense requests to disclose more DNA profiles, saying they cannot produce what they don’t have DNA will play a key role as prosecutors have filed court documents calling Kohberger’s DNA a statistical match to a knife sheath found at the crime scene. Judge Judge also imposed a strict guideline for both sides to stick to during Friday’s hearing, so the trial can keep on pace with the October 2nd trial date. All motions have to be filed by September 22nd, so jury selection may start on September 25th. Kohberger has plead not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary; If found guilty, prosecutors have already said they will seek the death penalty.