Bryan Kohberger Has 'Propensity to Commit Murder,' Alleges Prosecutor Seeking Death Penalty
There are currently seven men and one woman on death row in Idaho, but the state has not carried out an execution since 2012.In March, the governor signed into law a bill authorizing the use of firing squads to carry out executions.
Just days after Bryan Kohberger and his defense team identified what they believe to be problematic gaps in the investigation into the University of Idaho murder suspect, prosecutors filed a notice with the court announcing they would be seeking the death penalty.
The news does not come as a surprise to many. In fact, in anticipation of this very possibility, Kohberger was appointed one of the few public defenders in the state who is licensed to try capital murder cases shortly after being extradited back to Idaho after his arrest at his family home in Pennsylvania.
There are currently seven men and one woman on death row in Idaho, but the state has not carried out an execution since 2012. In March, the governor signed into law a bill authorizing the use of firing squads to carry out executions should there be an inability to obtain the drugs required for a lethal injection.
Prosecuting attorney William Thompson provides five arguments to support his decision to pursue the death penalty in the notice obtained by Insie Edition Digital. He writes:
- “At the time the murder was committed the defendant also committed another murder.”
- “The murder was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity.”
- “The defendant exhibited utter disregard for human life.”
- “The murder was committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, arson, rape, burglary, kidnapping or mayhem and the defendant killed, intended a killing, or acted with reckless indifference toward human life."
- “The defendant … has exhibited a propensity to commit murder which will probably constitute a continuing threat to society.”
Thompson also noted that he is legally allowed to change or reverse this decision in his filing.
Kohberger is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in the middle of the night at an off-campus house.
The family of Goncalves released a statement after the news, saying: “There is no one more deserving than the defendant in this case.”
Kohberger told a previous public defender that he expects to be exonerated at trial. In May, he declined to enter a plea after being formally charged with four counts of murder. The judge in the case entered a not guilty ples of his behalf.
In a filing last week, his defense team questioned the strength of the case against their client, claiming that the DNA of three men had been discovered at the murder scene.
The filing also claims that there is a "total lack of DNA evidence from the victims in Mr. Kohberger’s apartment, office, home, or vehicle."
Another piece of evidence that the defense says is lacking is the identification of the suspect's car.
The probable cause affidavit references a "white sedan" but makes no mention of make or model. Jay Weston Logsdon, the attorney for Kohberger, says that there is only one sighting of a vehicle that is certainly a Hyundai Elantra.
Kohberger owned and drove a 2016 Elantra.
These claimed were included in the defense's objection to prosecutor's request seeking a protective order for the genetic genealogy testing done in the case.
The defense is seeking a detailed breakdown of how FBI agents utilized genetic genealogy to initially identify Kohberger as a person of interest in the case.
The state is arguing that since DNA from a buccal swab provided by the suspect after his arrest matched the DNA found on a knife sheath at the scene, the genetic genealogy results will play no role in the upcoming trial and are inconsequential to proving the suspect's guilt or innocence.
The judge is expected to rule on this motion at an in-person hearing on Tuesday.
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