Mother of University of Idaho murder victim ‘betrayed’ after lawyer drops her to represent Bryan Kohberger

The mother of one of four murdered University of Idaho students blasted a public defender for abandoning her as a client and instead taking on the case of her daughter’s accused killer.

Cara Northington’s 20-year-old daughter Xana Kernodle was found fatally stabbed on Nov. 13 inside a home in Moscow, near the University of Idaho campus. Her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, and two of her housemates, Madison Mogen, 21, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were also killed in the bloody attack.

Around the same time, court-appointed defense attorney Anne Taylor was counseling Northington on unrelated drug charges. But she suddenly dropped Northington as a client on Jan. 5 — the same day she first appeared in court alongside Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old Ph.D. candidate accused of murdering all four students.

“I am heartbroken,” Cara Northington told NewsNation on Wednesday.

“I trusted her. She pretended that she was wanting to help me. And to find out that she’s representing him – I can’t even convey how betrayed I feel.”

Kohberger was taken into custody at his family home in Pennsylvania after weeks of eluding law enforcement officers. He’d just traveled home for winter break from Washington State University, where he studied criminology. His motive for allegedly killing the quartet remains unclear.

Authorities said they discovered a knife sheath with Kohberger’s DNA in Mogen’s room. A murder weapon has not yet been recovered.

Kohberger is facing four counts of first-degree murder and a felony burglary charge for allegedly entering the home with intent to kill. He could face the death penalty if convicted.