While a probable cause affidavit released recently presented a “strong circumstantial case” for the University of Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger, his former attorney said the evidence is not clear-cut. Kohberger’s ex-attorney stated that while there is “strong circumstantial evidence” against him, it could be easily attacked in court if viewed individually.
The knife sheath discovered next to one of the victims, which had Kohberger’s DNA on the button snap, was a prominent piece of evidence. This was dismissed by LaBar as “touch DNA” or “transfer DNA.”
There is no other direct evidence linking Kohberger to the fatal stabbings of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin, according to LaBar. Even the suspected white Hyundai Elantra, which was allegedly seen at the victims’ off-campus house before and during the alleged murders, appears to be circumstantial.
According to LaBar, police relied on cellphone pings rather than GPS coordinates. ‘If it was GPS coordinates, people would be talking about pinpointing where Bryan Kohberger was at the time of these crimes,’ he said. ‘However, a cellphone tower ping indicates that you are within a 20-mile radius of that tower.
One of the surviving roommates, Dylan Mortensen, is said to have seen Kohberger in the house the night of the murders, which LaBar believes can be challenged. Jason LaBar, the Chief Public Defender for Monroe County, Pennsylvania, was court-appointed to Kohberger before he had been extradited to Idaho and obtained a private attorney.
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LaBar said he spoke with Kohberger for about 4 hours during the five days he was his attorney and described him as ‘engaged.’ Kohberger told LaBar at the time that he believed he would be ‘exonerated’ once he was transferred to Idaho.
More evidence is expected following the preliminary hearing, and while LaBar is no longer representing Kohberger and has no plans to communicate with him, he will continue to follow the case and ‘view everything objectively.’
The 28-year-old will appear in court in Moscow for a preliminary hearing on June 26 – six months from now.
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