Idaho massacre suspect's attorneys ask judge to dismiss indictment

"The failure to properly instruct a Grand Jury as to the standard of proof is grounds for dismissal of the Indictment."


The attorney for the suspect accused of killing four students at the University of Idaho last year, Bryan Kohberger, asked a judge on Tuesday to dismiss charges against their client on "grounds that the Grand Jury was misled as to the standard of proof required for an indictment." 

According to the court filings released on Thursday, Kohberger's attorneys claim that the grand jury was not instructed on the required standard of proof required for an indictment. Idaho's state Constitution says that the grand jury has to believe "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the person committed a certain crime. 

The defense argues that the jury was "erroneously instructed" as to the burden of proof required for a "Presentment." Which is having "reasonable grounds for believing that a particular individual … has committed" a crime. 

"The failure to properly instruct a Grand Jury as to the standard of proof is grounds for dismissal of the Indictment," the filing states. 

A former federal prosecutor told Fox News Digital said this is "another frivolous defense motion. 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," she told the outlet. "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."

Kohberger is accused of brutally murdering Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin in their off-campus Moscow, Idaho home in November 2022. Officers found Kohberger's DNA at the crime scene on the Sheath of a Ka-Bar brand knife. 

In 2022, Kohberger graduated from Pennsylvania's DeSales University with a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, and was attending Washington State University for a Ph.D. in criminology at the time of the killings. 

He reportedly conducted research on criminal behavior during his Master's degree program. 

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