Lawyer for Idaho massacre suspect has multiple ties to victims' families

The lawyer was briefly representing both the suspect and the mother of one of the victims at the same time, before she filed a substitution of counsel, choosing the suspect.

The public defender representing Bryan Kohberger, the sole suspect in the killing of four University of Idaho students, has also represented multiple family members of the victims in the previous few years.

It was reported earlier in the week that Cara Northington, the mother of victim Xana Kenodle, was represented by Kohberger's lawyer, Anne Taylor, on drugs charges as recently as January 5, the same day that the suspect was extradited to Idaho from his parent's home in Pennsylvania.

Taylor was briefly representing both Northington and Kohberger at the same time on that day, before the lawyer filed a substitution of counsel, according to Inside Edition.

It was also reported by Inside Edition on Thursday that Taylor represented Korie Hatrock, the stepmother of another victim, Madison Mogen, in June 2022, also on drugs charges. Mogen's father Benjamin also had a case overseen by Taylor in 2020, again on drugs charges. Mr. Mogen was sentenced to 90 days in prison.

Kohberger was arrested at his parent's Pennsylvania home on December 30 after police discovered evidence placing his car and cellphone at the scene of the crime around the approximate time the slayings took place on November 13.

Taylor's appointment as the attorney for the suspect is believed to be out of necessity, as the small county is lacking in qualified public defenders. She is one of only 13 public defenders in the whole state, and the only one in North Idaho.

California appellate and litigation lawyer Matthew Barhoma told the Daily Mail that Taylor seems to have an interest in working on the case, describing the situation as "odd and unique."

"Taylor had many prior dealings with the mother on multiple occasions and that heightens the conflict. You have to assume she received no confidential information from the mother that could bleed into this case," he said. "And then you have to question if you can do the job impartially, and it could affect Bryan who may not have a replaced attorney."

"It is an inherently difficult issue with no clear-cut answer and is a gray area. However if it were me, I would recuse myself from the case," Barhoma added. "There is a substantial conflict of interest, despite removing herself from the mother's case, she should get herself off Bryan's case too."

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