Attorneys for Bryan Kohberger, a former Washington State PhD candidate accused of murdering four University of Idaho students last year, are trying to get his indictment dismissed.
In a new motion obtained by KHQ News, Kohberger’s legal team argued the grand jury was “misled as to the standard of proof required for an indictment.” Jurors should have been informed that they can only hand down an indictment if the evidence presented to them is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” according to court documents.
Instead, they were “erroneously instructed” about a standard of proof required for a “presentment,” which would mean having a “reasonable ground for believing the defendant has committed” an alleged crime. Because the grand jury was allegedly told they could indict on a lower standard of proof, Kohberger’s lawyers believe the indictment should be dismissed.
“The failure to properly instruct a Grand Jury as to the standard of proof is grounds for dismissal of the Indictment,” the filing reads.
In the event a judge denies the dismissal, the suspect’s attorneys have requested a new preliminary hearing to determine whether the case should move forward.
Kohberger was indicted by a Latah County grand jury back in May. He’s accused of killing 21-year-olds Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen, 20-year-old Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, also 20. All four students were found fatally stabbed inside a Moscow home, not far from the University of Idaho campus, on Nov. 14.
His attorneys earlier this week recently suggested they had evidence that would corroborate him being at a location other than the crime scene on the night of the slayings. Prosecutors have since filed a motion requesting the defense reveal any potential witnesses or evidence to support their claims of an alibi.
Kohberger has pleaded not guilty to the murder charges, and his trial is slated to begin in October.