Bryan Kohberger case not a sure thing legal scholars warn as prosecutors have yet to establish murder motive, located the murder weapon or the fact that the DNA found at the scene could’ve been brought there by someone else as prosecutors explore whether to seek death penalty.
Kohberger, 28, was arrested on December 30 after weeks of painstaking investigation by police in Moscow, Idaho, and the FBI.
A report via the dailymail cited former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani saying that those defending Kohberger will not present an insanity defense because of his history as a ‘scholar.’
Said the trial lawyer: ‘The murder case against Bryan Kohberger is not a slam dunk. Kohberger’s attorney will most likely argue that he didn’t do it, rather than present an insanity defense.
Kaylee Goncalves’ parents say they support the death penalty for accused killer Bryan Kohberger.
“If you want to play God’s role, you’re going to have to go answer to him.” pic.twitter.com/G3bMJp56Oh
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) January 6, 2023
No murder motive and no murder weapon
‘He was accomplished enough as a scholar to become a Ph.D. student and he showed no indication of mental illness before the stabbings, so there would be little justification for his defense to argue he is incompetent to stand trial.
‘The authorities have Kohberger’s DNA on the knife sheath, but DNA evidence can be transferred from one person to another onto an object so that evidence is not open and shut for a conviction.
‘Prosecutors don’t have the murder weapon, they have a pretty vague description of the suspect from an eyewitness, and they lack a clear-cut motive.
‘If I was the D.A., I would certainly like a lot more than the evidence that has come out so far, especially if prosecutors are going to pursue the death penalty.’
It comes after the family of one victim, Kaylee Goncalves, say that they would support the death penalty in the case against Kohberger.
Her father Steve said that his vision of ‘justice’ is not to ‘be in a prison cell’, with her mother adding that she ‘wished Kaylee and Maddie were serving a life sentence’ because it would mean they could talk to them.
Rahmani added: ‘Prosecutors will continue to build the case, so I don’t think they will take the death penalty off the table.
Did Idaho murder suspect join online discussions before arrest? Who was behind Pappa Rodger on Facebook & InsideLooking on Reddit? https://t.co/72PoV0qgNT #moscowhomicide #idahohomicide #Bryan Kohberger #BryanKohberger #IdahoFour #Idaho4 #idahohomicides #Moscow4
— Scallywagandvagabond (@ScallywagNYC) January 7, 2023
Plea deal unlikely
‘It will be hard for Kohberger’s defense to reach any workable deal with prosecutors, so this case will most likely head to trial.’
Former Los Angeles County prosecutor Joshua Ritter, who is a partner with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, believes that the DNA and other corroborating evidence is a ‘very strong case’ against the alleged killer.
He said: ‘I can’t imagine this being a case where prosecutors don’t seriously consider the death penalty.
‘In that scenario, the only way Kohberger would accept a plea deal would be if prosecutors take the death penalty off the table. But it’s a little early to talk about plea deals at this point.
‘This is one of those watershed cases where you have four young, good-looking, completely innocent victims in a small community who were horrifically stabbed to death.
‘If this had taken place in a huge metropolis like Los Angeles or New York it still would have received attention, but the fact that this took place in a small community seems to have added to the intrigue surrounding the murders.’
Cops puzzled by 2 surviving Idaho roommates waiting 8 hours before calling 911 https://t.co/rWgb1ag1m1 #Dylan Mortensen #Bethany Funke #moscowhomicide #idahohomicide #Moscow4 #Bryan Kohberger #BryanKohberger #IdahoFour #Idaho4 #idahohomicides
— Scallywagandvagabond (@ScallywagNYC) January 7, 2023
Compelling case against suspect?
Kohberger previously insisted that he would be ‘exonerated’ by his lawyer in Pennsylvania.
It comes as law enforcement sources say the alleged killer was seen taking out garbage using surgical gloves several times at his parents home.
The officers were tasked with tracking Kohberger so they could arrest him as soon as a warrant was issued as well as trying to get hold of an object to compare DNA to a sample found at the scene.
He was also seen cleaning the inside and outside of his car, with the source adding that he didn’t ‘miss an inch’.
Kohberger was also reportedly seen taking out the trash to his neighbour’s bins at around 4am – with the contents being recovered by offices.
DNA from the scene matched the DNA found on the sheath to Kohberger’s by comparing it to his father’s DNA – which was a 99.9998 percent match.
The white Hyundai Elantra is one of the things that helped cops track down the alleged killer, as well as obtaining his phone records.
He yesterday appeared in court charged with the four murders as well as a felony burglary after being extradited to Idaho.
The criminal justice graduate only spoke to confirm his name and that he had representation during a hearing in Moscow, Idaho, on Thursday.
Phone records show that Kohberger went close to the property just five hours after the murders were committed – with his phone being turned off during the time of the murders.
He is also accused of stalking the students and visiting the property or the area at least 12 times before the slayings on November 13.