Expert to testify Bryan Kohberger's cell phone was outside Moscow night of Idaho murders: defense

ByTaylor Romine, CNN
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Attorneys for Bryan Kohberger file alibi defense, analysis of cell phone tower data
Bryan Kohberger faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary in the killings of four University of Idaho students.

MOSCOW, Idaho -- Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November 2022, was out driving west of Moscow, Idaho, the night of the slayings, his attorney says, and the defense plans to offer a cell phone tower and radio frequency expert to partially corroborate this account, a court document supporting an alibi defense filed Wednesday shows.

Kohberger was driving south of Pullman, Washington, and west of Moscow, Idaho, "as he often did to hike and run and/or see the moon and stars," his attorney says in the document. The two towns are about 10 miles apart.

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More information on Kohberger's location will be shared after prosecutors provide discovery evidence previously requested, the document says.

Due to a wide-ranging gag order, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and attorneys for victims' families and witnesses are prohibited from saying anything publicly, aside from what is already in the public record.

The filing is the latest turn in the high-profile case against Kohberger, who is accused of fatally stabbing four Idaho college students early on November 13, 2022. A not-guilty plea was entered last May on his behalf, and his attorneys have indicated he intends to present an alibi as part of his defense.

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Kohberger's public defenders several times have pointed to their client's purported penchant for taking long drives alone late at night. In an August filing, they wrote of the night of the killings, "Mr. Kohberger is not claiming to be at a specific location at a specific time."

Still, Wednesday's filing outlining Kohberger's alibi had been anticipated for months: Idaho law requires a defendant to submit in writing "the specific place or places at which the defendant claims to have been at the time of the alleged offense and the names and addresses of the witnesses upon whom he intends to rely to establish such alibi."

The judge in Kohberger's case repeatedly extended the submission date, most recently setting the Wednesday deadline during a hearing in late February.

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Kohberger, 29, faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary in the killings of Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20, at a home just off the university's main campus in Moscow.

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