Idaho Judge Orders Prosecutors to Share Genetic Genealogy Evidence in Bryan Kohberger Case
In a recent development, an Idaho judge has ruled that prosecutors must disclose some genetic genealogy evidence used in the investigation of Bryan Kohberger. However, due to a gag order on the case, the extent of the disclosure remains unclear, and the specifics have been filed under seal.
Judge John Judge, in a public filing, stated that after reviewing the disputed evidence, “a portion” of it should be shared with Kohberger’s defense team. To protect the privacy of the investigative genetic genealogy (IGG) information, including individuals on the family tree, the specific material will be provided in a sealed order.
The prosecutors had previously argued that the police had utilized IGG evidence to generate leads but not to obtain any warrants in the case, therefore claiming that they did not have to disclose it. The police had discovered DNA from a Ka-Bar knife sheath under the body of Madison Mogen, one of the victims. The DNA sample on the sheath was later confirmed to match Kohberger’s cheek swab.
Madison Mogen, along with her best friend Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin, were all University of Idaho students who tragically lost their lives in November 2022. Kohberger, who was studying for a Ph.D. at Washington State University, located around 10 miles away at the time of the slayings, has been accused of their murders.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Kohberger allegedly entered the victims’ rental home and brutally massacred them before being seen fleeing the scene by a surviving housemate. Police identified Kohberger’s white Hyundai Elantra as the suspect vehicle, and they alleged that he turned off his phone before and after the crime.
Phone records also indicated that Kohberger stalked the victims’ home on multiple occasions before the murders and drove by once more hours later. He is currently being held without bail, and not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf at his arraignment in May. If convicted, Kohberger could face the death penalty.
This recent ruling by the Idaho judge marks a significant development in the Bryan Kohberger case, as it requires the prosecutors to share genetic genealogy evidence with the defense team. As more details emerge from this high-profile case, the public awaits further updates on the progress of the investigation and the upcoming trial..