Bryan Kohberger lawyer drops bombshell claim against key prosecution evidence: 'They've withheld the audio'

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Criminology Ph.D. student turned quadruple murder suspect Byran Kohberger returned to an Idaho courtroom Thursday as his defense lawyers claimed prosecutors turned over key evidence in discovery – but only in an altered form.

The defense is seeking additional evidence through discovery, including the full surveillance video that allegedly places Kohberger’s white Hyundai Elantra near the crime scene.

“The public needs to know that they’ve withheld the audio,” Anne Taylor, the Kootenai County public defender and Kohberger’s lead defense attorney, revealed.

The claim came as Kohberger’s team is vying to have his next discovery hearing open to the public, in opposition to the prosecution’s request it happen behind closed doors.

BRYAN KOHBERGER’S ‘ALIBI’ RIPPED APART IN IDAHO PRSOECUTORS’ ‘TEMPER TANTRUM’

Prosecutors, however, argued that everything in the proceedings related to the discovery hearing has been filed under seal and is expected to continue to be filed under seal.

“This is entirely inconsistent,” Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ashley Jennings told Judge John Judge during the hearing Thursday. 

“The defendant will get his day in court, and the public will have a right to see what evidence the state has,” Jennings said. “Now is not the time for that.”

Furthermore, defense insinuations that prosecutors were dragging their feet on discovery are “utter nonsense,” Latah County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson said.

IDAHO MURDERS: BRYAN KOHBERGER DEFENSE ‘FIRMLY BELIEVES’ IN SUSPECT’S INNOCENCE

Prosecutor Bill Thompson walks through the courtroom

Taylor accused prosecutions of trying to control public perception of the case by keeping evidence “in a vacuum.”

“Bryan’s the one with the right,” Taylor argued. “It’s his Sixth Amendment right to a public hearing.”

Judge did not appear to be convinced by her line of reasoning.

IDAHO MURDERS SUSPECT BRYAN KOHBERGER WAS UNKNOWN TO VICTIMS, LAWYER SAYS

Idaho victims last photo

“I totally understand that Mr. Kohberger has a constitutional right to a public trial, but having a hearing is not a trial,” he said. “It’s something different.”

He said he might be more open to holding a closed door hearing and then releasing information afterward.

Later, as the hearing grew heated, he chided both sides, urging them to “tone it down” and refrain from personal attacks on one another.

GO HERE FOR MORE TRUE CRIME FROM FOX NEWS DIGITAL

Bryan Kohberger wears red jumpsuit as he walks into court house

The legal posturing could be a strategic move to bolster the defense team’s effort to have the trial moved out of Latah County, where the murders took place, to a larger jurisdiction with more people in the jury pool, according to David Gelman, a New Jersey-based defense attorney and former prosecutor.

He said he agreed with Taylor – prosecutors should not have handed over an edited video that allegedly ties Kohberger’s car to the crime scene.

IDAHO JUDGE ALLOWS BRYAN KOHBERGER’S JURY POOL SURVEY TO RESUME

“They are trying to make the prosecutor out to be hiding evidence and going after an innocent guy,” he told Fox News Digital. “They will say things in an open court that are off the wall probably but if the public sees it, that could help either move the case due to publicity or poison the potential jury.”

Kohberger faces four charges of first-degree murder and another of felony burglary in connection with a Nov. 13, 2022 massacre at an off-campus house next to the University of Idaho.

The quadruple stabbing killed Maddi Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20. 

University of Idaho victims Madeline Mogen, Ethan Chapin, Xana Kernodle, and Kaylee Goncalves

According to court documents, police found a Ka-Bar knife sheath under Mogen’s body that had Kohberger’s DNA on it. They also traced his movements with phone pings and surveillance video of his car.

That evidence is favorable to the prosecution, Taylor argued, while little potentially exculpatory evidence has come out in court and both sides agreed to a restrictive gag order on the case which they have used to avoid answering questions from the press.

Judge John Judge entered not guilty pleas on Kohberger’s behalf to call counts at his arraignment in May 2023.

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