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Disturbing twist in Idaho murders case reveals concerning detail about Bryan Kohberger’s DNA and knife sheath evidence

By Ben Shimkus,


NEW details in the case against Bryan Kohberger have revealed a potential crack in the criminal case against him for the murder of four University of Idaho students last year.

A knife sheath found in the off-campus apartment in Moscow, Idaho, where the killings took place was sent to a second lab after Idaho police couldn't find a DNA match with Kohberger.
Bryan Kohberger is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November 2022 Credit: Handout - Getty
A knife sheath was found in the off-campus house where the killings took place Credit: Getty

Kohberger, 28, awaits his trial in an Idaho solitary confinement prison. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 26.

Kohberger is accused of murdering Madison Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, with a knife.

"It's a problem for the prosecution if the reports are accurate and the first lab did not match the DNA to Kohberger," an attorney and former federal prosecutor, Neama Rahmani, told Newsweek.

"Even though familial DNA matches are new, the state is going to have to explain why the first lab drew a different conclusion."

The knife's sheath faces new scrutiny, as investigators sent the knife for further testing at an out-of-state company, according to NewsNation.

"I don't know if that means that the lab in Idaho - the state lab - wasn't good enough," reporter Ashleigh Banfield said on her show.

Police said they found the sheath next to Mogen's bed, just inches away from her body and the body of Gonclaves.

Trace DNA was found on the sheath's button, but forensic specialists haven't connected the DNA to Kohberger.

Banfield surmised the Idaho forensic analysts may have created a weakness in the state's criminal complaint against Kohberger.

Banfield questioned the forensic analysts: "You couldn't do the job of finding any DNA on the knife sheath?"

Banfield and defense attorney Mark O'Mara discussed the potential jeopardy to the defense the new revelations could cause.

"Defense attorneys look wherever they can find to find a potential of reasonable doubt," O'Mara warned.

"When there is a test - either that they have to do unique, they have to go out-of-state, they have to do a second or third time, or it's inconclusive - those are little items... that defense attorneys use to see if there is reasonable doubt there."

O'Mara said the evidence in the case could still be enough to convict, but says the defense attorney must be happy with the new finding.

"Yeah, it's something they're going to look at," O'Mara concludes.


Kohberger's preliminary hearing is set for June 26.

The case will decide the fate of Kohberger's life - a potential conviction leaves him eligible for execution if convicted of any of the murder charges.

Before arresting Kohberger, Moscow Police Department found a white Hyundai Elantra at Kohberger's residence they pinned close to the crime scene on the night of the murders.

In an unsealed arrest warrant, police described a list of physical evidence found in Kohberger's family home when he was arrested.

Cops say they found four medical-style gloves, a black Champion sweatshirt, black face masks, size 13 Nike shoes, a knife, black gloves, and a black hat during Kohberger's arrest.

The trove of evidence built up the case against Kohberger has faced a fair amount of setbacks since his arrest.

State attorneys revealed "potential Brady/Giglio material" in the case, allegedly involving one of the officers.

Brady/Giglio material refers to evidence that could "impeach the credibility of a witness," according to Fox News.

Moscow, Idaho officials announced in March that the home where the four students were killed would be demolished.

The demolition is set before the case, potentially taking away the prospect that jurors can inspect the site of the property.

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