Victim’s mom ‘heartbroken’ by defense lawyer’s switch

Banfield

(NewsNation) — Cara Northington is facing the harsh reality that the person she trusted most has now dropped her case — to represent the accused killer of her daughter Xana Kernodle.

The court-appointed defense attorney for Bryan Kohberger previously represented Northington before switching to take his case, according to court records.

Anne Taylor, chief of the Kootenai County Public Defender’s Office, withdrew from Northington’s case Jan. 5, the same day Kohberger made his first court appearance in Moscow, Idaho. Since Taylor took over the public defender’s office in 2017, her office has defended Northington in four cases, the Idaho Statesman reported.

In the most recent 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.

Taylor is now listed an as “inactive attorney” in Northington’s felony drug case. She is also listed as an inactive attorney in a 2017 misdemeanor case that has since been adjudicated. NewsNation is reporting the charges to establish the connection between Taylor and the victims.

“I am heartbroken because I trusted her … (Taylor) pretended that she was wanting to help me … And to find out that she’s representing him (Kohberger), I can’t even convey how betrayed I feel,” Northington said.

Northington also gave Taylor power of attorney.

“I don’t understand how she could do this … I don’t understand what happens now. Does she still have power of attorney?” Northington questioned.

Northington says she hasn’t had a chance to speak with Taylor yet, and that she found out about the switch through a friend on social media.

Meanwhile, a judge has barred attorneys for the families of victims in the homicide from speaking about the case to media.

Northington went on to explain what kind of girl her daughter was: “She was tough. She was strong. She was funny. … She just had a quirkiness about her that not a lot of people possess, that kind of talent to be able to light up a room like she did.”

Xana “would want all of us to live our best life and remember the good things about her,” Northington said.

Earlier this month, “Banfield” spoke with Steve and Kristi Goncalves, the parents of Kaylee Goncalves, after Kohberger‘s first court appearance.

Steve Goncalves said that while he and Kristi will forgive Kohberger one day, “he has to pay for what he’s done.” 

“Justice is when you leave the planet … and the whole world is able to rejoice and be glad that you are not there. That’s justice, and we will forgive him,” he said.

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