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Suspect in University of Idaho murders says cellphone data will prove his innocence


Attorneys for Bryan Kohberger, the suspect charged in the murders of four University of Idaho students in November 2022, said in a new court filing that Kohberger has an alibi that will exonerate him in the case.

Kohberger was indicted on charges of murder by a grand jury last May; according to the court filing (reviewed by CNN), Kohberger, 29, claims he was driving in Pullman, Wash., on the night of the murders; and that cellphone tower data will prove he was miles away when the four students were killed. All four victims — Madison Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20 and Ethan Chapin, 20 — were stabbed to death in the early hours of Nov. 13, 2022, at their off-campus residence in Moscow, Idaho.  Kohberger’s lawyers plan to use cellphone tower data analysis in an effort to prove he was not at the home where the murders happened on Nov. 13, 2022.

Lead defense attorney Anne Taylor said in the filing: “Mr. Kohberger was out driving in the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 2022, as he often did to hike and run and/or see the moon and stars. He drove throughout the area south of Pullman, Wash., west of Moscow, Idaho,” adding that the alibi is supported by data from Kohberger’s phone, with numerous photos showing him late at night or in early morning hours out in the countryside. In addition, Kohberger’s defense will put a cell phone tower and radio frequency expert on the stand to support the alibi, with the spot where he allegedly was out driving the night of the murders being located about 10 miles from the murder scene.

Kohberger, who lived in the town of Pullman, Washington, 9½ miles away from Moscow, was arrested in Pennsylvania nearly seven weeks after the killings on Dec. 30 while in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains visiting family.  Investigators allege they tied Kohberger to the killings by using DNA evidence found on a knife sheath left at the scene in the bed where Mogen and Goncalves were found deceased.  Moscow police had been looking for a white Elantra as possible evidence, and Kohberger’s Hyundai Elantra was seized from his Pennsylvania home.

Prosecutors claim that Kohberger broke into an off-campus home in the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 2022, and stabbed the four students to death at a King Road residence in the small city of Moscow on the Washington-Idaho border. The victims likely were asleep when the brutal attacks began.

Kohberger, who was a doctoral student studying criminal justice and criminology at Washington State University, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Editorial credit: P.A.12 /

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