The November 2022 murders of four college students enrolled at the University of Idaho shocked the nation, as their off-campus home became a brutal crime scene overnight. Now, one surviving roommate of the victims named Bethany Funke is making headlines after suspect Bryan Kohberger’s defense team claimed that she could clear his name.
Keep reading to learn more about Funke and her connection to the case.
What Happened to the University of Idaho Students?
Three students enrolled at the university named Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and her boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, were stabbed to death near Moscow, Idaho, early in the morning on November 13, 2022.
After an extensive investigation and mounting public pressure for answers, Kohberger was subsequently arrested on December 30, 2022, and charged with one count of burglary and four counts of first-degree murder.
Upon his arrest, the suspect’s attorney, Jason A. LaBar, released a statement on January 2, 2023, on behalf of Kohberger’s parents, Michael and Marianne Kohberger, and his sister, Amanda.
“First and foremost, we care deeply for the four families who have lost their precious children,” LaBar said in the statement, obtained by People. “There are no words that can adequately express the sadness we feel, and we pray each day for them. We will continue to let the legal process unfold and as a family, we will love and support our son and brother. … We have fully cooperated with law enforcement agencies in an attempt to seek the truth and promote his presumption of innocence rather than judge unknown facts and make erroneous assumptions. We respect privacy in this matter as our family and the families suffering loss can move forward through the legal process.”
Kohberger appeared in court for the first time on January 5, 2023. His DNA was confirmed to have been discovered on a knife sheath, which also led to a DNA match to Kohberger’s father, according to the probable cause affidavit obtained by In Touch. Kohberger is in custody and is being held without bail.
Who Is Bethany Funke?
Funke is one of the two surviving roommates from the night in question. She lived with the students Goncalves, Mogen and Kernodle prior to their deaths.
In April 2023, Kohberger’s defense team claimed that Funke could clear his name because she had “information material to the charges against Mr. Kohberger,” which could be “exculpatory” for him, E! News reported.
“Ms. Funke’s information is unique to her experiences and cannot be provided by another witness,” the investigator said, adding that “it is necessary to subpoena this witness because the witness’ testimony is material and necessary to this case,” according to the outlet.
An attorney representing Funke, however, fought the investigator’s claims, noting that there is no merit for the defense to request a subpoena for the preliminary court hearing, which is scheduled for June 28, 2023.
“These statements are conclusory,” Funke’s attorney wrote in the motion against the subpoena. “There is no further information of detail pertaining to substance of the testimony, its materiality or the alleged exculpatory information of Ms. Funke or why it would entertained at a preliminary hearing.”
The motion also pointed out that there is no authority to summon a Nevada witness for an Idaho-based hearing.
“A preliminary hearing is not meant to become a mini trial due to its limited purpose in deciding probable cause,” Funke’s lawyer added in the motion.
How Many Roommates Survived the Idaho Murders?
Apart from Funke, only one other roommate who lived with the three victims survived. The other survivor chose to be identified as just D.M.
According to court documents obtained by In Touch, the second surviving roommate recounted the November 2022 incident, noting that she saw an unidentified man in a mask and all-black clothes in the home that the students lived in. D.M. remembered that she “heard crying” and that the man said, “It’s OK. I’m going to help you.”
“D.M. described the figure as 5’ 10” or taller, male, not very muscular, but athletically built with bushy eyebrows,” the affidavit stated. “The male walked past D.M. as she stood in a ‘frozen shock phase.’ The male walked towards the back sliding glass door. D.M. locked herself in her room after seeing the male.”
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