A Pennsylvania public defender who briefly represented the man suspected of killing four University of Idaho students said he saw “holes” in the police case against his one-time client.
Monroe County chief public defender Jason LaBar briefly represented Bryan Kohberger before Kohberger was extradited to Idaho last week.
“I believe there are holes in the prosecution’s case at this time,” LaBar said in an episode of ABC’s “20/20″ that aired Friday night.
Kohberger, a 28-year-old Ph.D. candidate at Washington State University, is accused of fatally stabbing Madison Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, in the early morning hours of Nov. 13 at a home in Moscow, Idaho, just off the University of Idaho’s campus.
The “20/20″ special spent most of its time recounting public information about the case, from the students’ day and night out before the murders to the detailed evidence laid out against Kohberger in an arrest affidavit. Kohberger’s DNA was found on a knife sheath left behind at the crime scene next to Mogen’s body, according to police.
The lengthy investigation resulted in Kohberger’s arrest on Dec. 30 at his parents’ home in eastern Pennsylvania.
Police are still searching for the murder weapon, believed to be a large KA-Bar knife.
According to public documents, their case is built around several factors: the DNA on the knife sheath, a description of the suspect by one of the unharmed roommates, Kohberger’s cellphone location data and the white Hyundai driven by Kohberger and spotted near the crime scene on the night of the murders.
Legal experts on “20/20″ suggested that defense attorneys would likely attack the evidence one piece at a time. For example, Kohberger’s cellphone was off when the students were killed, so his exact location remains unknown.
Investigators also have not publicly stated a potential motive for the killings. It remains unclear if Kohberger knew any of the victims before Nov. 13. The University of Idaho and Washington State are separated by fewer than 10 miles.
Kohberger, who had been studying criminology, has not yet entered a plea in the case. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 26.