Crime /

Bryan Kohberger Declines to Offer Alibi Ahead of University of Idaho Murder Trial

'Evidence corroborating Mr. Kohberger being at a location other than the King Road address will be disclosed pursuant to discovery and evidentiary rules,' wrote lead public defender Anne Taylor

The man accused of stabbing four University of Idaho students to death last year declined to offer an alibi ahead of trial in response to a demand from the state.

Bryan Kohberger invoked his right to remain silent, according to a filing from lead public defender Anne Taylor. Kohberger has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary in connection with the deaths of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin. 

“Mr. Kohberger notes that Idaho Code §19-519(4) preserves his Constitutional right to silence as well as to testify on his own behalf,” wrote Taylor, per Court TV. “Mr. Kohberger stands firm on his Constitutional right as well as the statutory recognition of that right.”

“A defendant’s denial of the charges against him does not constitute an alibi, but as soon as he offers evidence that he was at some place other than where the crime of which he is charged was committed, he is raising the alibi defense,” states the defense attorney in the court document. “Mr. Kohberger’s defense team continues investigating and preparing his case. 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.”

Kohberger was arrested at his parent’s home in Pennsylvania on Dec. 30, roughly six weeks after the students were found dead inside an off-campus home. The 28-year-old was a criminology Ph.D. student at Washington State University – an estimated 15 minutes away from the University of Idaho campus in Moscow – at the time of the murders. 

According to an affidavit filed by law enforcement in Idaho, Kohberger’s DNA was a match for DNA found on a knife sheath found inside the King Road home. Additionally, a cell phone registered in his name was determined to have been near the house on dozens of occasions in the months leading up to the Nov. 13 attack.

He was extradited to Idaho and indicted by a grand jury on May 17. The jury found that Kohberger “did unlawfully enter” the residence, which was shared by Goncalves, Mogen, Kernodle, and two other female roommates who were not harmed. The jury found that the suspect did “willfully, unlawfully, deliberately, with premeditation and with malice aforethought, kill and murder” the four victims.

Latah County Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall issued a nondissemination order — colloquially known as a gag order — regarding the case on Jan. 3. The order prohibits law enforcement, defense lawyers, or prosecutors from discussing the case with the media. Marshall wrote that “the order shall remain in full force and affect throughout these proceedings, until such time as a verdict has been returned, unless modified by the court,” per KTVB7

The Idaho Statesman noted Kohberger “also previously chose to stand silent at his arraignment in May, which led Judge John Judge of Idaho’s 2nd Judicial District in Latah County to enter a plea of not guilty.”

“Offering an alibi is one form of criminal defense that argues the suspect was somewhere else at the time of the incident with evidence, including possible witness testimony,” reports the publication.

The trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 2 in Latah County Court.

*For corrections please email [email protected]*