In a shocking turn of events, attorneys for Bryan Kohberger – the lone suspect in the murders of four University of Idaho students in November 2022 – are claiming that one of the two surviving roommates, who were home at the time of the murders, may have ‘exculpatory’ evidence tied to their defense.
The roommate in question is Bethany Funke, 21, and she was recently summoned with a subpoena – which demands that she appear in court to testify and present the alleged evidence in front of a jury. The hearing for Kohberger is set to begin on June 26 and she’s being forced to appear on June 28.
Court documents warn that Funke could receive up to $500 in fines and a potential 25-day stay in jail if she disobeys the subpoena. Funke has already filed a motion to dismiss the subpoena and is arguing she doesn’t have any additional information – that hasn’t already been provided – to assist the investigation.
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“Bethany Funke has information material to the charges against Mr. Kohberger; portions of information Ms. Funke has is exculpatory to the defendant,” Kohbergers’ attorney Richard Bitonti wrote in an affidavit. “Ms. Funke’s information is unique to her experiences and cannot be provided by another witness.”
Funke and the second survivor, Dylan Mortensen, have cooperated with the investigation from the very beginning and were ruled out as suspects in the early days of the probe. Mortensen was face-to-face with the suspect after she opened her door – the suspect wore a mask and walked past her out the back door.
She felt alarmed when she heard voices in the home – she thought she heard crying in one of the victim’s rooms and thought she head another one of the victims say, “There’s someone here.” That’s when she opened her door and saw a ‘figure clad in black clothing and mask’ as he walked out the sliding door.
Mortensen proceeded to lock herself in her room once the suspect left and police weren’t called until the following morning – when one of the two surviving roommates called authorities upon finding the dead bodies. Police officers didn’t arrest Bryan Kohberger until December 30, nearly seven weeks later.
Bethany Funke Doesn’t Want to Testify in Bryan Kohberger Hearing
Bethany Funke is doing everything she can to avoid appearing in court. One of her Nevada-based attorneys is arguing that the subpoena (in Idaho) wasn’t filed properly and they don’t have the authority to summon the defendant to a preliminary hearing. It’s unclear if their motion for dismissal will be granted.
“There is no further information or detail pertaining to the substance of this testimony, its materiality or the alleged exculpatory information of Ms. Funke or why it would be entertained at the preliminary hearing,” one of Funke’s attorneys wrote in a filing – which was published on Monday.
“There is also no authority for an Idaho criminal defendant to summon a Nevada witness to an Idaho matter without a hearing and there is no authority to summon a Nevada witness to an Idaho matter without a Nevada judge making a finding of materiality, necessity and the lack of undue hardship,” she added.
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As of right now, the attorneys for Bryan Kohberger haven’t discussed any further details regarding what the ‘exculpatory’ evidence consists of and it’s unclear if that evidence even exists. His hearing is set to start on June 26 and he’s facing four counts of first-degree murder, as well as a felony burglary charge.
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