In a new filing by an attorney for Bryan Kohberger, the suspect in the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students last fall, attorney Jay Logsdon claims “there is no connection between Mr. Kohberger and the victims.”
“There is no explanation for the total lack of DNA evidence from the victims in Mr. Kohberger’s apartment, office, home or vehicle,” the lawyer continues.
Kohberger faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary Murders of November 13 Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20 years old; and Ethan Chapin, 20, at a house right next to the university main campus in Moscow. It was a plea of not guilty entered on his behalf by an Idaho judge at a hearing last month.
The mysterious murders had the community on edge for more than a month before Kohberger was arrested. Officials have not yet offered a motive for the killings. A the judge issued a strict curfew in this caseprohibiting all lawyers—prosecutors, defense attorneys, and those representing victims and witnesses—from publicly saying anything beyond what is already in the public record.
In the new filing, the defense notes, “by December 17, 2022, laboratory analysts knew the DNA of two additional men in the house where the deceased were.”
Laboratory analysts found DNA for another unknown man on a glove found outside the residence on Nov. 20, 2022, the filing said.
“At this time, the Defense does not know what kind of testing, if any, was done on these samples, other than DNA profiles STR“, according to the file.
The file challenges the basis on which the prosecution investigative genetic genealogy and opposes government attempts to keep its methods secret.
The filing, Objection to State’s Motion for Protective Order, is in response to a recent prosecution motion that said Kohberger’s DNA, collected through a buccal swab, was a “statistical match” to the unknown DNA on the sheath the knife found at the crime scene. .
Kohberger’s defense argues that they should be entitled to all data related to that conclusion, including the investigative genetic genealogy used in the case.
Prosecutors made the disclosure last week in their motion that the FBI went to publicly owned DNA sites, similar to online sites like Ancestry.com or 23andMe, with unknown male DNA from the knife sheath and used genetic genealogy, “then sent local law enforcement a tip to to investigate,” Kohberger.
But the prosecution argued that Kohberger is not entitled to the FBI data discovered from this method.
“The FBI charged the SNP [Single Nucleotide Polymorphism] profile to one or more publicly available genetic genealogy services to identify possible family members of the suspect based on shared genetic data,” the prosecution said in their motion.
The defense now argues in its motion: “Perhaps not surprisingly, Mr. Kohberger does not accept that his defense does not need this information.”
“It appears that the state only wants to prevent Mr. Kohberger from seeing how the investigative genetic genealogy profile was created and how many other people the FBI chose to ignore during their investigation.”
The defense closed its argument by arguing that prosecutors refuse to release this information because “somehow people will stop sharing their genetics if they realize the government is watching.”
The killings in November and the lengthy investigation that followed shook Moscow, a city of 25,000 that had not seen a murder since 2015.
After weeks of little information and heightened community anxiety, Kohberger was arrested at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania in late December and identified by authorities as the alleged killer. He has since been in police custody and is being held without bail.
The next hearing in Kohberger’s criminal case is set for Tuesday.