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Bryan Kohberger's Lawyer Getting Paid Extra For Case -- After Being Cleared Of Apparent Conflicts Of Interest

Bryan Kohberger Lawyer Anne Taylor Extra Pay Cleared Conflict Of Interest

Considering how high profile the University of Idaho murder case is, you’d think the state of Idaho would want to make sure every single aspect of the trial was as free of controversy as possible. But before it can even begin, it’s been saddled with scandal.

Those following the case know Bryan Kohberger was assigned a public defender named Anne Taylor. Unfortunately it was quickly discovered Ms. Taylor may have conflicts of interest here – as she also represented THREE different parents of the victims!

As the chief counsel in the Kootenai County Public Defender’s Office, she previously represented Maddie Mogen’s father and stepmother on drug-related charges. And right up until she got the Kohberger case, she was representing Xana Kernodle’s mother Cara Northington for a drug arrest that happened six days AFTER the murders. She had to hand that case over to another attorney in order to get the murder case!

Related: Why It Took So Long For The Police To Be Called In The Idaho Murders

This certainly seemed like a conflict of interest. After all, the parents of the victims not only have a stake in the outcome of a murder trial, they could also end up taking the stand! Kaylee Goncalves’ parents have already reportedly been listed as potential witnesses in the trial. Cara in particular was upset, telling NewsNation‘s Ashleigh Banfield back in January: 

“I am heartbroken because I trusted her … (Taylor) pretended that she was wanting to help me … And to find out that she’s representing him (Kohberger), I can’t even convey how betrayed I feel.”

Why didn’t they bring in counsel from out of state?

According to sources speaking to NewsNation on Thursday, Taylor was officially cleared of any conflict-of-interest concerns. She had a private meeting with the judge about it, and it’s all settled. Because this was a private meeting, we have no idea why the judge ruled everything was OK. All we can do is hope this doesn’t come back to bite the court later on — like, say, on appeal…

Now that Taylor is moving forward and representing Kohberger, it’s also come out that she’s getting paid a substantial extra salary to do so. According to an agreement obtained by local CBS affiliate KREM 2, Latah County has agreed to pay the Kootenai County public defender $200 per hour for the defense. See, Latah doesn’t have a public defender approved to handle capital cases — where the death penalty is in play. Taylor is one of only 13 in the entire state who can do it, which may be why she’s getting more than average here.

A lot of fuss is being made over the extra pay. When you work it out, she’s getting an extra $8,000 a week — for a case that may go for months. And that doesn’t even include overtime, of which there’s likely to be a lot. It’s a huge case, after all. Seems like a big payday, right?

Well, maybe not…

Related: JonBenét Ramsey Investigators Hid DNA Evidence?!

From what we’re hearing from lawyers out there, it’s really not very high for an hourly rate. On the high side for a public defender, sure — there’s not a lot of money in defending people for free. But again, this is a really high profile case for which Taylor is likely to be picked apart in the media just for sitting at a table with the accused. Oh, not to mention with all the evidence against him, it may be kind of an impossible task. It’s not an enviable position any way you shake it — so a higher salary may actually be needed to offset the difficulties.

We get why folks are quick to vilify Taylor. But everyone is entitled to a legal defense, right? It’s the only way we can be satisfied that justice is being done. We don’t want innocent people imprisoned, and we damn sure don’t want murderers to be set free because of legal mistakes. Right?

Which is why we’re still a little iffy on that whole conflict-of-interest thing…

What do YOU think of Kohberger’s attorney making extra money on this case? Let us know in the comments (below)!

[Image via KREM 2/YouTube/Xana Kernodle/Instagram.]

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Feb 17, 2023 16:27pm PDT