- Idaho prosecutors filed over 60 search warrant applications seeking Kohberger’s data
- Prosecutors are also seeking bank and social media data on Idaho murder victims
- A legal expert said prosecutors wanted to determine the “hidden link” to Kohberger’s motive
Legal experts assessed the prosecution’s move to seek data from tech and retailer companies in investigating the Idaho multiple murder case.
Four months after the gruesome murders, the prosecutors have filed over 60 search warrant applications compelling Apple, Amazon, Google, DoorDash, Meta, Snapchat, Tinder, Walmart, and KA-BAR knives to provide information related to Bryan Kohberger, the accused of killing four University of Idaho students, according to court documents.
Idaho prosecutors are also planning to gather bank and social media information about the murder victims as they attempt to find out Kohberger’s motive for killing the college students.
Danny Cevallos, a legal analyst for NBC News, said the prosecutors’ court application was likely aimed at countering Kohberger’s defense strategies.
“I can almost guarantee that one of the prime defense strategies will be that the prosecution got tunnel vision, that they focused on him and stopped looking for anybody else, that they didn’t chase down any other leads,” Cevallos said, NBC News reported.
“As the defense investigates this and comes up with any leads of their own, then it’s going to be up to the prosecution to have looked at everything too — social media, work history, a love triangle, anything that could have motivated someone else, ” the lawyer added.
Cevallos’ remarks were echoed by Casey Jordan, a justice and law administration professor at Western Connecticut State University.
Jordan said the prosecution’s plan to gather “every single conceivable piece of evidence” means to counter any doubts about the investigation into the grim killings.
Jordan added that prosecutors wanted to determine whether a “hidden link” could explain the murder suspect’s motive.
The prosecution’s move came following a request made by Kohberger’s lead defense attorney seeking to appoint a qualified co-counsel to handle cases involving the death penalty.
Newsweek reported that Latah County Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall was granted a motion filed by Kohberger’s lawyer, Anne Taylor, the chief of the Kootenai County Public Defender’s Office.
While Idaho prosecutors have not yet sought a death penalty as a punishment for Kohberger, a former federal prosecutor invests the defense team is bracing for such a move.
Michael McAuliffe, a former assistant US attorney in the Southern District of Florida, said the defense lawyers are considering that “the state will ultimately seek death.”
McAuliffe added that the death penalty would change the case in “fundamental ways,” such as prolonging the trial’s time frame and enhancing discovery obligations.
As of late, Taylor has not yet named her co-defense counsel in Kohberger’s case.
Kohberger, facing four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary, is expected to return to court on June 26 to continue his preliminary hearing.