The man charged with the murders of four University of Idaho students faces mounting evidence connecting him to the heinous crimes. But a former lawyer of OJ Simpson’s ‘dream team’ had some advice for the accused murderer, Bryan Kohberger’s, defence team.
The arrest affidavit, a document detailing a summary of the evidence and the circumstances of the arrest, revealed a number of new details about the case that left residents in the small town of Moscow reeling, and shocked the rest of the world.
The affidavit reveals that Kohberger was tied to the murders of Kaylee Goncalves, 21 Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, after his DNA was found on a knife sheath the killer left at the scene.
Mobile data also links the criminology PhD student to the undergrad’s off-campus home at least 12 times in the run-up to the 13 November attack. And again, just hours after the murders.
Despite the evidence mounting up against him, a prominent defence lawyer says that’s only one side of the story.
Alan Dershowitz, who was part of OJ Simpson’s ‘dream team’, broke down the affidavit which connects Kohhberger to the grisly crimes, and shared his top defence tactics for the alleged killer’s attorney.
Speaking on the The document narrows in on Kohberger, so the defence’s first step should be to begin developing their own evidence.
“You always assume your client is guilty, and then you work back from there.”
Referring to the cellphone data which links Kohberger’s phone to the scene of the crime, Dershowitz called it “circumstantial evidence”.
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He said: “You’re looking to try to explain away the physical, indisputable evidence in a way that presents the possibility of innocence or at least reasonable doubt,”
This could be done, Dershowitz explained, by putting other parties on the stand.
“Often putting the police on trial, putting the prosecution on trial and deflecting attention away from the defendant toward other people can be an approach that’s worth pursuing as well”, the retired lawyer said.
The affidavit noted that Kohberger’s DNA was found on a knife sheath left beside one of the victims, which Dershowitz said seems like “very damning evidence” but not impossible to challenge or dismiss.
The infamous lawyer said it’s a long way to go from being able to evaluate the outcome of the trial, but based on the affidavit he said the outcome does, so far, “point to probable guilt”.
He said: “I’m going to surprise people when I say that a good criminal defence lawyer always starts with a presumption of guilt, not a presumption of innocence.
“If you assume your client is innocent, you’ll make mistakes. You’ll allow searches. You will allow him to speak to the police. Then you always keep in mind the possibility of a plea bargain.
“This is difficult in a case like this where there were so many deaths and so brutal that the lawyers, whoever they are, really have their work cut out for them.”