DNA evidence alone is not enough to convict Bryan Kohberger: trial expert

DNA evidence alone is not enough to convict Bryan Kohberger: trial expert

Bryan Kohnerger’s defense team is going to “attack” the DNA evidence against him when he goes to trial in the grisly murder of four University of Idaho students — but it still might not save him from a guilty verdict, a trial expert told The Post.

“DNA on itself… it’s not everything,” Court TV anchor Ted Rowlands, who has covered high-profile trials for more than 20 years, said.

“People can leave their DNA on items they’ve never touched and in rooms they’ve ever been in.”

Kohberger, 28, is accused of slaughtering Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin in their off-campus home on Nov. 13, 2022.

The Washington State University criminology student was identified as a suspect after he allegedly left DNA on a knife sheath found by cops at the crime scene.

Rowlands said he expects Kohberger’s lawyers will try to get the DNA evidence tossed out.

“I think from the defense, you’re going to see a huge attack on the DNA because if you get rid of that, you have a chance,” he said.

“However, this isn’t just DNA. It’s DNA tied to the murder weapon allegedly,” the trial expert added.

Still, Rowlands, 57, said there are too many other things that potentially tie the accused murderer to the quadruple killing, such as having a white Hyundai — the same car seen near the crime scene shortly after the murders.

In addition, Kohberger had his cell phone off, which made it harder to pinpoint his exact location while the Moscow murders were taking place to give him an alibi.

“He thought if he turned his phone off, he’d get away with it,” Rowlands said of the alleged killer.

Bryan Kohberger’s defense team will try to throw out the DNA evidence against him, but it won’t save him from a guilty verdict, a trial expert told The Post.
Ted Rowlands, who has covered high-profiled trials for more than 20 years, said that even if Kohberger’s defense team manages to get the alleged DNA match on the murder weapon thrown out, it won’t release him from the shackles just yet.
New York Post

“They have some hurdles,” he said of the defense team.

When asked why he thought the knife sheath had been left behind at the scene of the bloody slaying, Rowlands said he believes it was a “complete accident.”

“I believe that Maddie Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves fought back and whoever was in there with the knife, that’s what [the girls] took. They grabbed it and that’s why it was there. I can’t believe any other scenario that makes sense,” he said.

The Washington State University doctorate student’s DNA has allegedly been matched to the knife sheath found at the scene of the crime.

“Whoever did this, whether it be Kohberger or somebody else, it’s the last thing in the world — especially if it was Kohberger, Mr. Criminology — it’s the last thing in the world that that person would do would be to leave behind his DNA,” Rowlands said. 

Rowlands, who has produced a documentary about the high-profile case, also thinks the Pennsylvania native’s criminology studies will play a large role at trial.

“It paints that picture of the ultimate scary boogie man that there’s no way to defend yourself off somebody that’s analyzing, allegedly, the art of killing,” he said.

“That’s basically what I think they’re going to argue, that this guy researched this and followed through with it.” 

When asked why he thought the sheath had been left behind, Rowlands thinks it was a “complete accident.” He said: “I believe that Maddie Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves fought back and whoever was in there with the knife, that’s what [the girls] took. They grabbed it and that’s why it was there. I can’t believe any other scenario that makes sense.”
James Keivom
Rowlands, who executively produced a documentary of Kohberger’s case, also thinks the Pennsylvania native’s criminology studies will play a large role in the case. “It paints that picture of the ultimate scary boogie man that there’s no way to defend yourself off somebody that’s analyzing – allegedly – the art of killing,” he said.
Kevin C. Downs for NY Post

Rowlands also theorized that if Kohberger is the murderer, he may have wanted to “test the system.”

“I think he wanted to test the system and act out on whatever internal impulses,” he said.

“I think if he got away with this, that this would have been just the beginning, assuming he actually did this.”

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