Attorney Warns of "Huge Issue" Despite Gag Order Imposed in Kohberger Case on Murder of Four Idaho Students

 February 25, 2023

According to a veteran defense attorney in the state, a slow but consistent stream of leaks in the Idaho student murders case, could have dire consequences for prosecutors seeking justice for four undergrads, found stabbed to death late last year. Edwina Elcox, the Boise-based former attorney of "Cult Mom" child killing suspect Lori Vallow stated that-

"It’s a huge issue that this source is leaking information,"… "That has the potential to compromise the integrity of the investigation and prosecution of the case." adding "If an employee of my office did that, they would unequivocally no longer be employed,"

-Edwina Elcox, Boise-Based Attorney

This is despite the fact, that a restrictive gag order is in place for the case against Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of fatally stabbing four Idaho students. The gag order itself is currently facing a challenge in court by one of the victims’ families. This means, however, that, investigators and attorneys for both sides, as well as the victims, survivors and their families, are at present limited in what they can publicly say about the case.

Too much exposure to the closely followed, national news story, is feared, could taint the jury pool in Latah County. The region is known for its rural farmland with mountains in Northern Idaho, and is home to residents, where more than half, live in Moscow, the college town where all four slain University of Idaho students were living. Moscow is a typically serene college town in the Idaho mountains, near the border of Washington state.

Elcox remarks came after a series of reports were leaked, in which, unnamed law enforcement sources made claims about the stabbing suspect and the evidence against him.  This information included the fact that Kohberger allegedly had a stockpile of photos of one of the victims, on his phone and sent at least one of them messages over Instagram before the crime.  Investigators could be able to recover the data, even if he had them, then deleted them, she explained.

Reportedly, Elcox continued-

"I understand Kohberger fancied himself as intelligent. But as a Criminology Ph.D. student, it should have been abundantly obvious that maintaining pictures of one of the victims could prove to be problematic."… "If the information contained in the search warrant affidavits is accurate, he clearly had at least a cursory understanding of cellphone technology," …"Perhaps he was just so arrogant, he thought he was smarter than investigators but couldn’t help but keep pictures that he could readily access."

-Edwina Elcox, Boise-Based Attorney

After the victims had been seen partying at different locations around Moscow, Kohberger is accused of sneaking into the house around 4 a.m., on Nov. 13, 2022, where police allege he brutally stabbed four students to death. The victims were 21-year-olds Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncavles and 20-year-olds Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin. Kohberger’s next scheduled court date is June 26. He is currently being held, without bail, in the Latah County Jail.

According to Cathy Mabbutt, the Latah County Coroner, all four were stabbed multiple times with a large knife. Only some had defensive wounds, and others may have been ambushed in their sleep. In the police affidavit, reportedly Kohberger left behind a Ka-Bar knife sheath with DNA on the snap. Investigators recovered it in Mogen's bed, next to her body. Investigators found a paternal DNA match in the garbage can at Kohberger's parents' house, some 2,500 miles away in Pennsylvania.

Kohberger was said to reside in an apartment in Pullman, Washington, where he was studying for a Ph.D. in the school's department of criminal justice and criminology. The campus is across the state line but is less than 10 miles from the University of Idaho. He had allegedly been stalking the King Road home for weeks, reportedly making passes on at least a dozen occasions and returning once more hours after the murders.

On Friday University officials announced that the landlord had donated the King Road property and that they plan to demolish it. A planned memorial garden will be constructed at an undecided location in honor of the victims and other students who have died.

“If we do not maintain justice, justice will not maintain us.”

-Francis Bacon
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