Bryan Kohberger’s lawyer makes bombshell claim: “They’ve withheld the audio” of key prosecution evidence

Byran Kohberger, a criminology Ph.D. student turned quadruple murder suspect, returned to an Idaho courtroom on Thursday, as his defense lawyers claimed prosecutors turned over critical evidence in discovery — but only in an altered form.

The defense is seeking new evidence through discovery, including the whole security tape, which reportedly shows Kohberger’s white Hyundai Elantra near the crime site.

“The public needs to know that they’ve withheld the audio,” Anne Taylor, the Kootenai County public defender and Kohberger’s lead defense counsel, stated.

Bryan Kohberger's lawyer makes bombshell claim: "They've withheld the audio" of key prosecution evidence

The claim came as Kohberger’s side is seeking to have his next discovery hearing open to the public, despite the prosecution’s desire that it take place behind closed doors.

Prosecutors, on the other hand, maintained that everything in the discovery hearing processes has been filed under secrecy and would remain so.

“This is entirely inconsistent,” Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ashley Jennings told Judge John Judge at the hearing on Thursday.

“The defendant will get his day in court, and the public will have a right to see what evidence the state has,” Jennings went on to say. “Now is not the time for that.”

Furthermore, defense allegations that prosecutors were dragging their feet on discovery are “utter nonsense,” Latah County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson stated.

Taylor accused the prosecution of attempting to manipulate public perception of the case by preserving evidence “in a vacuum.”

“Bryan is the one with the right,” Taylor insisted. “It’s his Sixth Amendment right to a public hearing.”

The judge did not appear to be swayed by her reasoning.

“I totally understand that Mr. Kohberger has a constitutional right to a public trial, but having a hearing is not a trial,” he told reporters. “It’s something different.”

He stated that he might be more willing to convene a closed-door session and then release details later.

Later, as the hearing became heated, he chastised both sides, telling them to “tone it down” and avoid personal assaults on one another.

Bryan Kohberger's lawyer makes bombshell claim: "They've withheld the audio" of key prosecution evidence

According to David Gelman, a New Jersey-based defense attorney and former prosecutor, the legal posturing could be a strategic move to support the defense team’s efforts to move the trial from Latah County, where the murders occurred, to a larger jurisdiction with a larger jury pool.

He agreed with Taylor that prosecutors should not have turned over an edited footage that supposedly links Kohberger’s automobile to the crime scene.

“They are trying to make the prosecutor out to be hiding evidence and going after an innocent guy,” he told Fox News Digital. “They will say things in an open court that are off the wall probably but if the public sees it, that could help either move the case due to publicity or poison the potential jury.”

Kohberger is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of criminal burglary in connection with a massacre on November 13, 2022, at an off-campus house near the University of Idaho.

Maddi Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, were all killed in a quadruple stabbing.

According to court documents, police discovered a Ka-Bar knife sheath under Mogen’s body containing Kohberger’s DNA. They also tracked his movements using phone pings and security video from his automobile.

That evidence is beneficial to the prosecution, Taylor claimed, while little potentially exculpatory evidence has been presented in court, and both parties consented to a restricted gag order on the case, which they have utilized to avoid answering press queries.

At Kohberger’s May 2023 arraignment, the judge entered not guilty pleas on his behalf on all counts.

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