Surviving Roommate Fights Subpoena to Testify in Preliminary Hearing of University of Idaho Murders Suspect
A surviving roommate of four University of Idaho students who were murdered last November is fighting a subpoena to appear and testify at the preliminary hearing of Bryan Kohberger, a 28-year-old Pennsylvania man charged with four counts of first-degree murder. One of the roommates, Bethany Funke, filed a motion to quash the subpoena, arguing that the statements made by Kohberger's defense attorney, Richard Bitonti, claiming that Funke has exculpatory information are “without support.” Funke's motion also argues that the subpoena was improperly filed, as required by Nevada law, and insists that a hearing should take place before she can be compelled to testify in a trial, let alone a preliminary hearing. Kohberger's preliminary hearing is scheduled to begin on June 26 in Latah County District Court.
According to court documents obtained by CNN, Bitonti wrote in an affidavit that Funke's information is unique to her experiences and cannot be provided by another witness. Kohberger’s attorneys are asking a Nevada court to compel Funke to travel to Idaho and testify as a witness for Kohberger in late June. However, Funke's attorney argued that there is no authority for an Idaho criminal defendant to summon a Nevada witness to Idaho for a preliminary hearing. Further, Funke's motion says the subpoena would require her to appear in court in Latah County, Idaho, in late June, and potentially for the duration of a trial against Kohberger.
Kohberger was arrested on December 30, 2022, and charged with four counts of first-degree murder and burglary. He is accused of fatally stabbing Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20, at an off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho, in the early hours of November 13, 2022. The killings occurred while two other roommates were sleeping, and they were not harmed. Kohberger is being held without bail in the Latah County Jail in Idaho, awaiting a preliminary hearing in June.
Funke and the other surviving roommate, Dylan Mortensen, have not spoken publicly about the case, although they honored their slain friends in letters read during a church vigil in December. In her letter, Funke memorialized her friends as “gifts to this world in your own special way—and it just won't be the same without you.” All parties are restricted by a court order to only refer to the public records of the case and are not allowed to make any further comments.
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