Kohberger’s public defender denies meeting victim’s mom

(NewsNation) — A transcript of a secret court hearing in January between Bryan Kohberger’s public defender Anne Taylor and the judge has been made public.

Anne Taylor, chief of the Kootenai County Public Defender’s Office, allegedly represented three family members of of two of Kohberger’s alleged victims before switching to take his case, according to court records. A meeting was held about the potential conflict of interest, but Taylor was cleared to continue representing Kohberger.

According to the public court hearing, Taylor told the judge she has no conflict representing Kohberger because she’s never met Cara Northington, the mother of Xana Kernodle.

In the most recent alleged case, drug charges were filed against Northington on Nov. 19, six days after her daughter and three others were found dead inside an off-campus rental home. Kernodle, Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves and Ethan Chapin were all stabbed to death in the early morning hours of Nov. 13.

Northington previously said Taylor represented her on drug charges, but Taylor told the judge she has not met Cara Kernodle or provided any legal advice to her.

Taylor’s name was listed on paperwork involving Northington’s case, but Taylor clarified to the judge that because she’s the chief public defender, her name appears on every document in the public defender’s office. The judge questioned also Kohberger, and he said he feels comfortable with Taylor as his lawyer.

Kohberger first appeared before a Latah County, Idaho, judge on Jan. 5 following his extradition from Pennsylvania. He was arrested Dec. 30 after authorities say he traveled to his parents’ home from Pullman, Washington, where he is a graduate student at Washington State University.

A court Tuesday unsealed the search warrant for Kohberger‘s Pennsylvania residence, listing items seized from the Kohberger family home. Additional warrants from Kohberger’s parents’ house and car are expected to be released.

Kohberger could potentially face execution by firing squad, if he’s convicted of killing the students and if proposed legislation clears the Idaho state legislature.

The judge in the case has issued a gag order preventing those involved from speaking publicly, though the courtroom is still open to the public.

A preliminary hearing date for Kohberger is set to begin on June 26 at 9 a.m.


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