Bryan Kohberger 'should get an F in his criminology class' over 'damning' evidence, says legal expert

Bryan Kohberger 'should get an F in his criminology class' over 'damning' evidence, says legal expert
Bryan Kohberger was a PhD candidate in criminal justice at Washington State University when he was arrested on December 30 (Photo by Monroe County Correctional Facility via Getty Images)

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MOSCOW, IDAHO: A well-known criminal defense lawyer has claimed that suspect Bryan Kohberger "should get an F in his criminology class" after a probable cause affidavit linked him to the killings of four University of Idaho students.


In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Duncan Levin, a former assistant district attorney in the Manhattan district attorney's office and a lawyer at Levin & Associates who has defended clients like Harvey Weinstein and Anna Delvey, discussed the strength of the prosecution's case against the 28-year-old PhD candidate.

Levin claimed that Kohberger did a terrible job of "covering his tracks" and that the prosecution has a "very strong case" against him based on the information listed in the probable cause affidavit. “In short, he should get an F in criminology class,” he said. “He did not do a good job of covering his tracks.” Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin were killed on November 13 at a student rental property in Moscow, Idaho. Kohberger, who is assumed innocent until proven guilty at trial, is in line for the death penalty.



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According to the probable cause affidavit made public earlier this month, he was connected to the killings by DNA evidence, telephone data, an eyewitness story, and his white Hyundai Elantra.

Levin said that the affidavit shows that detectives were able to locate numerous "damning pieces of evidence" that all pointed to the accused as the sole suspect, despite the fact that the suspect is aware of the criminal justice system. “It’s an exceedingly detailed probable cause affidavit and frankly it’s pretty surprising that the prosecutors would include the level of detail they included in it,” he said. The affidavit claims that in addition to the DNA evidence, cellphone records indicate that Kohberger stalked the student's house at least 12 times prior to the night of the murders. The affidavit withheld the precise dates and times of these incidents, although all except one occurred in the wee hours of the morning or late at night.


“Usually probable cause affidavits are very bare bones as at the early stage of the investigation the police and prosecution don’t want to lay out the entire case to the defence. Here it was unusually detailed and I have to say looking at it it is a perfect case of where there’s smoke there’s fire. There’s so many damning pieces of evidence. The information here all points to Kohberger as the only person to have committed the crime,” Levin said, adding the DNA evidence is one “very, very important piece of information."

The affidavit said that a knife sheath had been abandoned at the scene of the crime on the bed near to Mogen and Goncalves' bodies. Using genetic genealogy databases and DNA extracted from trash removed from Kohberger's parents' house, DNA found on the sheath was matched to Kohberger. Investigators think Kohberger turned off his cell phone at the time of the murders in an effort to evade capture. However, cellphone records show him near the King Road residence at around 9 am on November 13; this suggests that he visited the crime scene shortly after allegedly killing the four victims at around 4 am. Investigators were also given a rough description of the killer by one of the victims' surviving roommates after she came face to face with him inside the house. He was also located using the white Hyundai Elantra he was driving; according to the police, a car that matched that description was seen in the vicinity of the scene of the murders.


Each piece of evidence can be dissected separately at trial, according to Levin, but taken as a whole, they create a "very tight case." “Any one of these could be drawn apart and attacked but when you put all of these strands together, you get an extremely tight case so far and it is still ongoing,” he said. “We don’t know for example if there’s more DNA in the Elantra. I expect the prosecution will take his car down to the studs and you can’t possibly clean a car well enough these days to outsmart technology,” he added.

Kohberger was a PhD candidate in criminal justice at Washington State University when he was arrested on December 30. He studied criminology at DeSales University in his native Pennsylvania for several years, finishing his graduate work in June 2022, and then relocated to Pullman, a town on the border of Washington and Idaho, to start his PhD program. He had long demonstrated a keen interest in criminals and the criminal mind. He conducted research “to understand how emotions and psychological traits influence decision-making when committing a crime” while studying under renowned forensic psychologist Katherine Ramsland at DeSales University.


Both the defense and prosecution will likely keep the details of their cases under wraps until Kohberger's next court appearance in summer. In response to the attorneys representing Kohberger, the preliminary hearing was set for June 26. The full week has been reserved for the hearing, during which the prosecution's case against Kohberger will be presented in court for the first time and he is expected to make a plea. Kohberger will remain imprisoned at the Latah County Jail until then after the judge ordered that he be held without bail.

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