Wow. Just a few short weeks ago we wondered how a lawyer could even begin to defend Bryan Kohberger, the man accused of brutally murdering four University of Idaho students last November. Now we’re seeing swing after swing from the public defender’s office!
The evidence seems stacked against Kohberger, a criminology grad student from the nearby Washington State University. His car was photographed in the area, his phone data seemed to show he’d been following the victims around in person as well as online, and of course his DNA was found on a knife sheath at the scene.
But the latest step by the defense could sidestep all of that and torpedo the state’s whole case. On Thursday they motioned to dismiss all charges against Kohberger due to an alleged error in the indictment. The doc, obtained by multiple news outlets, argues the grand jury that indicted him was “misled as to the standard of proof required for an indictment.”
They say the grand jury was not adequately prepped to weigh the evidence. The standard of proof for the evidence presented, they explain, should be able to prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Anne Taylor‘s team claims the jury was “erroneously instructed” with the standard of proof required for a “presentment,” — just “reasonable ground for believing the defendant has committed.”
The defense argues the jury might not have indicted if they’d realized how conclusive the evidence needed to be. The filing points out:
“The failure to properly instruct a Grand Jury as to the standard of proof is grounds for dismissal of the Indictment.”
Hmm. Seems like a stretch to us. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time a simple error made by prosecutors ruined a case — but we’d be shocked if the judge agreed this was grounds to throw out the case.
This follows on the heels of two other big moves by the defense. Last week they implied in a filing that the state’s most compelling evidence — the DNA match — shouldn’t be admissible because it was too easy to plant. That one definitely seems like a shot in the dark. But this next one…
The defense also claimed in a filing this week that Kohberger has an alibi! Taylor wrote:
“Evidence corroborating Mr. Kohberger being at a location other than the King Road address will be disclosed pursuant to discovery and evidentiary rules as well as statutory requirements.”
However, they didn’t say what that alibi was, saying it would be revealed… eventually.
“It is anticipated this evidence may be offered by way of cross-examination of witnesses produced by the State as well as calling expert witnesses.”
So it’s a… hypothetical alibi?
That isn’t good enough for the prosecution. The state filed a motion to compel Kohberger’s team to give them an actual alibi, his supposed location at the time of the murder, as well as witnesses who can corroborate it. You know, basic first 30 minutes of Law & Order stuff.
We may have to wait until the trial to see if the defense actually has some bomb to drop on this case or if they’re just bluffing.
What do YOU think of the wild latest developments in this case??