New court filings reveal that suspect Bryan Kohberger’s attorneys have asked one of the surviving housemates in the stabbing incident that killed four students at the University of Idaho to testify at his impending preliminary hearing.
In late June, attorneys for Kohberger will urge a Nevada court to order Bethany Funke to appear in Idaho as a witness in Kohberger’s favor. The hearing will take place in Moscow, Idaho, and Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall will preside.
A defense investigator’s affidavit supporting the subpoena states that Funke may have evidence exonerating Kohberger. She is one of just two persons to have made it through the home invasion unscathed.
“Ms. Funke’s information is unique to her experiences and cannot be provided by another witness,” according to court documents obtained by CNN. Funke has returned to her hometown of Reno, Nevada, since the murders in November 2022, and her lawyer is contesting the subpoena.
Kelli Anne Viloria, who is represented by counsel, has sought to have the subpoena dissolved. The motion argues the defense demand is without support “and there is no further information or detail pertaining to the substance of the testimony, its materiality, or the alleged exculpatory information of Ms. Funke or why it would be entertained at preliminary hearing.”
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In addition, Funke’s attorney claimed no hearing had been held before the subpoena was issued, as is mandated by Nevada law, and insisted that a hearing be held before Funke could be compelled to testify in any trial, let alone a preliminary hearing.
At a preliminary hearing, prosecutors typically present the court with an overview of their case’s evidence before the judge makes a decision on whether or not to proceed with a full trial. At this time, it is unclear what evidence Funke may possess that would be useful to Kohberger and prevent the matter from being bound over for trial.
Four counts of first-degree murder have been filed against Kohberger. A death sentence is an option if he is proven guilty. Kohberger, 28, is accused of stabbing to death four people between the ages of twenty and twenty-one: Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin.
The quiet college town’s sense of safety was shattered on November 13 when police arrived at the grisly crime scene and began searching for a suspect.
Kohberger was arrested in his parents’ Pennsylvania home in December, and he remains in the Latah County Jail in Idaho without posting bail. A judge has issued an order barring any further discussion of the matter beyond what is already in the public record.
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