Brian Kohberger, accused in Idaho murders, says cellphone data shows he wasn't near home

Brian Kohberger, the graduate student accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November 2022, plans to testify that his cellphone was nowhere near the scene the night of the murders, according to a new court filing by his attorney. .

Kohberger had already indicated his alibi in court documents — that he was driving at the time of the 4 a.m. murders. In a filing Wednesday, Kohberger's attorney Anne Taylor says she will try to prove that with testimony from a cell-tower expert who would say Kohberger's cell phone was misplaced to connect him to the murders.

That testimony contradicted prosecutors' contention that cellphone data placed Kohberger on the highway leading away from the city where the murders occurred that night.

Kohberger, 29, is accused of stabbing 20-year-olds Ethan Chapin and Chana Kernodle and 21-year-olds Madison Mohan and Kaylee Goncalves at an off-campus home in the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 2022. Officers checked. Nearly seven weeks for the killer, it drew national attention and put the nearby college towns of Moscow, Idaho, and Pullman, Wash., on edge.

Authorities arrested Kohberger, a criminal justice student at Washington State University in Pullman, at his family home in Pennsylvania in late December. He was later indicted by a grand jury.

Kohberger maintains his innocence. He pleaded not guilty in May to four counts of murder and one count of burglary. Prosecutors are barred from speaking about most aspects of the case under the judge's order.

Kohberger was charged after DNA was linked to the button snap of a knife sheath left at the scene, according to court records. Prosecutors seized other items from Kohberger's home and car, and alleged that his physical characteristics matched a rough description of the intruder given by the surviving roommate.

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Also, authorities said cellphone records show Kohberger was near the victims' off-campus home at least 12 times in the months leading up to the murders. On the night of the murders, Kohberger was observed leaving his residence just before 3 a.m. before he stopped reporting to the phone network, authorities allege in a criminal affidavit.

A car equipped with Kohberger's car was seen on surveillance footage pass the victims' home four times, and sped off 15 minutes after it last arrived at the home. Within half an hour, Kohberger's phone started reporting on the cell network again, according to the affidavit, stopping him on the freeway from Moscow back to Pullman.

Defense expert Kohberger's testimony, a new filing by his defense attorney, shows his mobile device was not traveling on that highway. Instead, he would say that Kohberger was “on November 13, 2022 in Pullman, Washington and west of Moscow, south of Idaho.”

In Taylor's filing, Kohberger said that after starting graduate school, she often went on late-night drives to hike, run or “look at the moon and stars,” and did so that night.

The next hearing of the case has been adjourned to May 14. The hearing date has not been fixed.

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