Page Nav



Classic Header


Breaking News:


Accused Idaho Killer Continues To Argue About DNA Found On Knife Sheath At Crime Scene

  A defense attorney for the 28-year-old man accused of killing four University of Idaho students continues to question the validity of DNA ...

 A defense attorney for the 28-year-old man accused of killing four University of Idaho students continues to question the validity of DNA found on a knife sheath at the crime scene.

Anne Taylor, the defense attorney, on Friday again argued that the prosecution had not provided full DNA information from the crime, CBS News reported.

“They have provided full DNA discovery for the sheath, the knife sheath, but not the other three unidentified male DNA samples,” she told the judge, referring to DNA from three men she said was found at the off-campus residence in Moscow, Idaho.

In court, prosecutors countered by saying they had turned over everything they had.

“We have given the defense everything that we have received from the lab. They’ve asked for DNA work-ups on other people. To the extent that they don’t have them, they weren’t done,” Latah County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson argued. “We can’t produce something that doesn’t exist.”

In a June court filing, the suspect’s other attorney, Jay Weston Logsdon, filed a motion objecting to the prosecutor’s attempts to avoid turning over a detailed breakdown of how authorities used genetic genealogy to link the accused to the murders. Logsdon wrote in the motion that investigators found DNA from three other men in the off-campus residence where Ethan Chapin, 20; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Madison Mogen, 21, were murdered in the early morning hours of November 13, 2022. DNA from two men was found inside the house, while DNA from a third man was found outside the home on a glove, the filing says, according to Inside Edition.

None of the three reported samples match the suspect’s DNA, though it is unknown when this particular DNA was left at the home, which was the location of frequent parties.

The suspect and his attorney say these DNA samples were never run through the national DNA database to find a match.

Prosecutors have argued that they didn’t need to turn over detailed information about how genetic genealogy was used to link the suspect to the crimes since a DNA sample provided by the suspect directly matched DNA found on a knife sheath found at the crime scene. The genetic genealogy wouldn’t be used at trial, prosecutors argued.

Once police had their suspect, they tracked him to his parents’ house in Pennsylvania and collected garbage from the outside trash cans. They obtained DNA that partially matched the DNA collected from the knife sheath, indicating they had the DNA of the suspect’s father. Collecting DNA from the suspect later directly linked him to the sheath. The sheath was found on a bed next to Goncalves and Mogen’s bodies, partially under one of them. The type of knife the sheath held would have been consistent with the knife used to murder the four victims.

In July, the suspect’s defense attorneys claimed that their client’s DNA may have been planted at the scene by police but could not explain why he would have been targeted for the crime.

Earlier this month, defense attorneys provided an alibi for the suspect, saying he was simply out driving around in the middle of the night when the crime occurred.


“[The suspect] has long had a habit of going for drives alone. Often he would go for drives at night. He did so late on November 12 and into November 13, 2022,” attorney Anne Taylor wrote in the filing. “[The suspect] is not claiming to be at a specific location at a specific time; at this time there is not a specific witness to say precisely where [my client] was at each moment of the hours between late night November 12, 2022, and early morning November 13, 2022. He was out, driving during the late night and early morning hours of November 12-13, 2022.”

Part of the evidence that led to the suspect’s arrest, mentioned in a previously unsealed probable cause affidavit, showed that police were able to narrow the timeframe of the crime to between 4:00 a.m. and 4:25 a.m. and reviewed video footage taken in the area in the time before and after the murders are believed to have occurred. The footage showed a white Hyundai Elantra without a front license plate (front license plates are required in Washington and Idaho, but not in Pennsylvania, where the car was registered) in the area between 3:29 a.m. and 4:20 a.m. The vehicle can be seen passing the off-campus residence three times before returning a fourth time around 4:04 a.m. and attempting to turn around on the road. The vehicle was next seen around 4:20 a.m. traveling away from the direction of the off-campus residence at high speed heading in the direction of a road that eventually leads to Pullman, Washington, where the suspect attended Washington State University (WSU).

Video footage from the WSU campus showed a white Hyundai Elantra leaving the area and heading toward Moscow at around 2:53 a.m. This vehicle was again observed on five cameras in Pullman and the WSU campus at around 5:25 a.m.

Police pulled records for white Hyundai Elantras registered at WSU on November 29 – just over two weeks after the murders were committed – and found one belonging to the man who was eventually arrested for the crime. Police reviewed the owner’s Washington state driver’s license and determined he matched the physical description of the suspect provided by one of the surviving roommates.

Police matched the suspect to the vehicle through two previous traffic stops in the months before the murders. They also said that the suspect registered his vehicle in Washington and received Washington plates on November 18 – five days after the murders.

No comments