Bryan Kohberger's alibi supported by cell tower data, his lawyers say

Lawyers for murder suspect Bryan Kohberger claim in a new court filing that cellphone tower and radio frequency data prove he was out for a late-night drive and miles away when four University of Idaho students were violently stabbed inside their off-campus home in 2022.

Kohberger, once a criminology Ph.D. candidate at Washington State, is accused of killing Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin. All four students were found fatally stabbed inside a Moscow home, not far from the University of Idaho campus, on Nov. 13, 2022.

“Mr. Kohberger was out driving in the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 2022, as he often did to hike and run and/or see the moon and stars,” Kohberger’s lead attorney, Anne Taylor, said in documents obtained by ABC News. “He drove throughout the area south of Pullman, Washington, west of Moscow, Idaho, including Wawawai Park.”

Pullman is about 10 miles west of Moscow, while Wawawai Park is a 40-minute drive from the site of the quadruple murder.

When Kohberger first moved to the area in June 2022, his “avid” love for running and hiking inspired him to drive around and explore his new surroundings, his legal team said. As the school year progressed, however, Kohberger got busier, so, he started driving a lot more at night instead of taking a hike or going out for a run.

Taylor added that his alibi is “supported by data from Mr. Kohberger’s phone showing him in the countryside late at night and/or in the early morning on several occasions.” They also cited “numerous” pictures from “several different late evenings and early mornings, including in November, depicting the night sky.”

What’s more, the defense has an expert witness in cellphone data who will testify that cell towers showed “Kohberger’s mobile device was south of Pullman, Washington, and west of Moscow, Idaho, on November 13, 2022; that Bryan Kohberger’s mobile device did not travel east on the Moscow-Pullman Highway in the early morning hours of November 13th, and thus could not be the vehicle captured on video along the Moscow-Pullman highway near Floyd’s Cannabis shop,” according to the court documents, filed in response to the state’s demand for alibi information.

Kohberger was arrested at his parents’ Pennsylvania home in December 2022, shortly after making the cross-country drive to celebrate the holidays with his family. Investigators have said they relied in part on cellphone data as well as surveillance video of a vehicle seen in the area of the King Road house the night of the killings. Authorities also alleged they recovered Kohberger’s DNA from the sheath of a knife found at the crime scene.

A trial date has not yet been set.