Wednesday, 28 June 2023

Accused Idaho Killer Lays Groundwork For Defense – Says Other DNA Found At Crime Scene

 Defense attorneys for the 28-year-old man accused of killing four University of Idaho students last November have begun laying the groundwork for their case.

The suspect, who is not being named per Daily Wire policy, and his defense 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 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.

The suspect and his attorneys also attempted to poke holes in the state’s case, including the DNA from the other men.

“While this was ongoing, police were investigating many various possible suspects. Many of them provided DNA,” Logsdon wrote in the filing, referring to law enforcement’s focus on his client. “At least one had his DNA surreptitiously taken from discarded cigarette. Many also had their phones taken and downloaded.”


The filing also notes that no DNA from the victims was found in the suspect’s “apartment, office, home, or vehicle.”

As for the vehicle, the defense said the probable cause affidavit only referenced a “white sedan” without mentioning the make or model. Logsdon claimed there was only one sighting identified as a Hyundai Elantra.

“Precisely how the police came to believe the car was an Elantra is still unknown,” Logsdon wrote. “A report from an analyst for the FBI dated March 21, 2023 shows the analyst heavily relying on video of car heading in the wrong direction and at the wrong time on Ridge Rd.”

Police used surveillance footage to track a white sedan without a license plate on the front as it drove in front of the victim’s homes several times. They also tracked that vehicle’s movements back to Washington State University, where the suspect was pursuing a doctorate in criminology.

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