Citing a failure to provide the grand jury with proper instructions, attorneys for Bryan Kohberger, the suspect in last year’s brutal slaying of four University of Idaho students, have asked a judge to dismiss the indictment against their client.
Kohberger is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary in the deaths of Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, Madison Mogen, and Kaylee Goncalves, who were found stabbed to death in their off-campus rented Moscow home on Nov. 13th.
In the Tuesday filing, Kohberger’s lawyers noted that the Idaho state Constitution sets the standard of proof for a grand jury at “beyond a reasonable doubt” and argued that the grand jury was “misled as to the standard of proof required for an indictment.”
“The filing said the grand jury was ‘erroneously instructed’ with the standard of proof required for a presentment, which requires a preliminary hearing,” Fox News Digital reports.
“The failure to properly instruct a Grand Jury as to the standard of proof is grounds for dismissal of the Indictment,” the attorneys stated in the motion.
The request to dismiss the charges “is another frivolous defense motion,” former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani told Fox News Digital. “The standard of proof at the grand jury or preliminary hearing stage is probable cause, not beyond a reasonable doubt.”
“Kohberger’s lawyers are filing every possible motion to create an appellate issue,” Rahmani explained. “They know they have a greater chance of getting a death sentence reversed on appeal than convincing a death penalty qualified jury not to return a guilty verdict and death sentence.”
As BizPac Review reported in late May, the families of two of the victims — Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen — filed notices stating their desire to see Kohberger receive the death penalty for his alleged murders.
— BizPac Review (@BIZPACReview) June 1, 2023
“We spoke with the prosecutor on the case, Mr. Thompson. He’s going to meet with all the families individually, and then make a decision based on that. So, the Goncalves family obviously supports the death penalty in this case,” Shanon Gray, the Goncalves family’s attorney, told NewsNation at the time. “They want justice for the deaths of their daughter and Maddie, and Xana and Ethan.”
Kohberger has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The defense attorneys also filed “a Second Motion for a Stay of Proceedings, asking for a halt in proceedings, without waiving the right to a speedy trial, while challenging the grand jury selection process and questionnaire,” Court TV reports.
Meanwhile, prosecutors have filed a Motion to Compel, after the defense team failed to provide them with Kohberger’s alibi for that fateful night. The State is requesting that the Court “require an alibi be submitted, including places and times of the defendant’s whereabouts when the murders occurred, as well as the names and addresses of all witnesses who the defendant intends to use to corroborate alibi,” according to Court TV.
The much-anticipated trial of Kohberger is set to start on October 2, with the suspect exercising his right to a speedy trial.
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