There are new developments in the Idaho murders case from both sides, as attorneys for suspect Bryan Kohberger asked a judge to throw out the grand jury indictment against him, while the state filed a motion to force him to produce an alibi — if he has one — ahead of the trial.
Mr Kohberger is accused of killing four University of Idaho students — Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle—last November. His trial is slotted for October, where prosecutors said they are planning to seek the death penalty against the 28-year-old.
On Thursday, prosecutors demanded that the suspect provide an alibi. The suspect declined to submit an alibi defence before the deadline passed — but suggested in a filing that he has one that could be presented at trial. His lawyer previously wrote that he has a “Constitutional right to silence as well as to testify on his own behalf.”
Meanwhile, defence attorneys filed a motion on Tuesday claiming “the Grand Jury was misled as to the standard of proof required for an indictment.”
Mr Kohberger was indicted by a grand jury in May.
Rather than being instructed that the standard of proof of the presented evidence is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” Mr Kohberger’s attorneys argued the grand jury had a much lower standard, an archaic procedure called a presentment.
According to Idaho criminal law, a presentment is defined as a formal statement by the grand jury “representing to the court that a public offense has been committed which is triable in the county, and that there is reasonable ground for believing that a particular individual named or described therein has committed it.” Presentments also require a preliminary hearing.
By contrast, an “indictment” in Idaho criminal law is defined as a formal accusation presented by a grand jury “charging a person with a public offense.”
Thus, the defence legal team argued that either the indictment should be dismissed or it should be treated as a presentment and have a preliminary hearing.
Mr Kohberger is scheduled to stand trial on 2 October after being indicted on four counts of first-degree murder and one burglary charge.