Bryan Kohberger asks judge to throw out Idaho murders indictment as prosecutors demand alibi

Defence claims the grand jury that indicted Kohberger in May was ‘misled as to the standard of proof’

Kelly Rissman
Friday 28 July 2023 15:22 EDT
Bodycam footage from night of Idaho murders

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.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in