MOSCOW, Idaho – In a quadruple murder case at the University of Idaho, a judge has ordered prosecutors to hand over DNA records to the defense of Bryan Kohberger, the sole suspect in the case.
Kohberger was arrested seven weeks after the 13 November 2022 stabbings of Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin were found brutally murdered in their off-campus home in Moscow. According to an affidavit for his arrest, genealogy databases yielded a link to Kohberger from DNA on a knife sheath found next to Mogen’s body.
The defense argued that this DNA evidence led to the capture of their client, and the judge ordered in favor of the defense motion to compel discovery. However, only a portion of the investigative genetic genealogy (IGG) information is subject to the defense request, as it is outlined in a sealed order to protect the privacy of individuals on Kohberger’s family tree.
Kohberger’s attorneys have expressed doubts about the use of genealogy DNA in the case, and prosecutors have contested that the DNA profile was not the only evidence used to secure his arrest. He was also tied to the scene of the crime through cellphone data and surveillance video that placed his car near the victims’ home around the time of the murders, according to the unsealed affidavit.
At the time of the murders, Kohberger was a graduate student studying criminology at Washington State University, a short drive from the scene of the killings across the state border. The initial trial date had been set for October, but several motions filed in the case have delayed the proceedings. Last month, prosecutors asked the judge to set a new trial date for summer 2024.