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Surviving Roommate Fights Subpoena to Testify in Murder Case of Four University of Idaho Students

A surviving roommate of the four University of Idaho students who were murdered last November is fighting a subpoena that compels her to appear and potentially testify at suspect Bryan Kohberger's preliminary hearing.[0] Kohberger has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and could potentially face the death penalty if found guilty. Bethany Funke, one of the surviving students, has been issued a subpoena by Kohberger's defense team to serve as a material witness in the case.[1] Kohberger’s preliminary hearing is scheduled to start in Latah County District Court on June 26, and his attorneys are asking a Nevada court to compel Funke to travel to Idaho and testify as a witness.[2]

In her motion, Funke contends that the defense's assertions regarding her possession of exculpatory evidence lack substantiation and fail to provide any additional information or specifics regarding the testimony's content. Lawyers contend that any exculpatory evidence held by Funke should not be introduced during the preliminary hearing, which is intended to establish probable cause and is not meant to function as a “mini-trial.”

Funke's lawyers have filed a motion in reply to Kohberger's legal team, arguing that the claims made by them are disputed. They stated that there is no legal jurisdiction for a criminal defendant in Idaho to summon a witness from Nevada to attend a preliminary hearing in Idaho.[3] According to Funke's motion, if she were to be subpoenaed, she would have to attend court proceedings in Latah County, Idaho, towards the end of June. Additionally, she may be required to stay for the entirety of the trial against Kohberger, who was taken into custody in Pennsylvania on December 30th, several weeks after the killings occurred on November 13th.[4]

Kohberger, a former criminology Ph.D. student, was arrested on December 30, 2022, and is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and burglary. According to the Law&Crime Network, “After was taken into custody, he appeared in Monroe County, Pennsylvania court on January 3.[5] After waiving his right to extradition, he was subsequently flown to Idaho.[5] Kohberger has been accused of fatally stabbing the three University of Idaho students, as well as Kernodle's boyfriend Ethan Chapin, at an off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho in the early hours of Nov. 13.[6] The killings occurred while two other roommates were sleeping, and they were unharmed.[6]

Despite being surviving roommates, Funke and Dylan Mortensen have chosen not to make any public statements regarding the case. However, they did pay tribute to their deceased friends by reading letters during a church vigil held in December. Thus far, Funke and Mortensen have remained publicly silent regarding the murders with the exception of heartbreaking letters read aloud by a pastor at a funeral service for Kernodle. In her letter, Funke memorialized her friends as: “gifts to this world in your own special way—and it just won’t be the same without you.”

Funke has yet to speak publicly about the case, nor has Mortensen.[7] Both, however, did write tributes to their friends who were killed, which were read during a vigil in December.[8] Funke and Mortensen shared their living space with four individuals who became the victims of the incident. These individuals were Maddie Mogen (21), Kaylee Goncalves (21), Xana Kernodle (20), and Ethan Chapin (20), who was Kernodle's partner.[9]

0. “Surviving roommate in Idaho student murders fights subpoena to appear at Bryan Kohberger hearing as part of his defense” CBS News, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/idaho-student-murders-bryan-kohberger-hearing-surviving-roommate-fights-subpeona/

1. “Surviving Idaho Murder Roommate Fights Court Order To Testify For Bryan Kohberger” Radar Online, 24 Apr. 2023, https://radaronline.com/p/university-idaho-murders-roommate-bethany-testify-bryan-kohberger/

2. “How could Idaho’s firing squad law affect Bryan Kohberger? Idaho’s history offers clues” AOL, 16 Apr. 2023, https://www.aol.com/news/could-idaho-firing-squad-law-100000409.html

3. “Bryan Kohberger's Lawyers Want to Force Victims' Roommate to Testify” msnNOW, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/bryan-kohberger-s-lawyers-want-to-force-victims-roommate-to-testify/ar-AA1ahETT

4. “Surviving Idaho roommate fights against testifying in Kohberger court proceedings” The Independent, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/crime/idaho-murders-kohberger-bethany-funke-b2326063.html

5. “New Bryan Kohberger Revelations as People Who Know Him Share Their Stories” Best Life, 17 Apr. 2023, https://bestlifeonline.com/news-bryan-kohberger-revelations-neighbors

6. “Idaho Murder Suspect Bryan Kohberger Claims Surviving Roommate Has Evidence That May Help Clear His Name” E! NEWS, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.eonline.com/news/1372431/idaho-murder-suspect-bryan-kohberger-claims-surviving-roommate-has-evidence-that-may-help-clear-his-name

7. “Surviving Roommate in Idaho Murders Asks Not to Testify in Bryan Kohberger's Trial” Jezebel, 25 Apr. 2023, https://jezebel.com/surviving-roommate-in-idaho-murders-asks-not-to-testify-1850372895

8. “Surviving roommate in Idaho student slayings asks not to appear at suspect's hearing” NBC News, 24 Apr. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/surviving-roommate-idaho-student-slayings-asks-not-appear-suspects-hea-rcna81184

9. “Witness in University of Idaho Killings Asks Judge to Quash Subpoena” Rolling Stone, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/witness-university-idaho-killings-quash-subpoena-1234723699/