Idaho murders: Bryan Kohberger defense could cost taxpayers thousands

Idaho taxpayers will be on the hook for thousands of dollars toward the legal defense of accused killer Bryan Kohberger, whose lead attorney is contracted to be paid $200 per hour to represent him, according to a local report.

Anne Taylor is a public defender for Idaho’s Kootenai County, but is being contracted to represent Kohberger in Latah County, where the Moscow student slayings were carried out, because of her expertise in handling capital murder cases. As such, Latah County has agreed to pay Kootenai County officials $200 per hour for Taylor’s services, with the expectation that she will be working 40 hours per week, local news station KREM 2 reported.

Latah County will pay Taylor directly for any overtime hours worked, though the hourly amount will remain the same, the report states.


Bryan Kohberger sits as his attorney, public defender Anne Taylor, right, speaks during a hearing in Latah County District Court on January 5, 2023, in Moscow, Idaho. Kohberger has been arrested for the murders of four University of Idaho students in

According to a document obtained by KREM via public records request, Latah County should pay Kootenai County $180 per hour for the "second seat attorney." Assuming he or she works a 40-hour workweek, Latah County should pay $180 per hour directly to the secondary attorney for any overtime worked, the document states.

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Meanwhile, any investigators working on behalf of Kohberger’s defense team will be paid $45 an hour, and attorney will be compensated for food, lodging and mileage, the report states.


Bryan Kohberger looks toward his attorney, public defender Anne Taylor, right, during a hearing in Latah County District Court on January 5, 2023, in Moscow, Idaho. Kohberger has been arrested for the murders of four University of Idaho students in N

Kohberger is being held without bail on four counts of first-degree murder and a felony burglary charge after allegedly entering an off-campus house around 4 a.m. on Nov. 13 and attacking four University of Idaho students inside.

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The ambush killed Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, both 21, their 20-year-old housemate Xana Kernodle, and her boyfriend Ethan Chapin, also 20, who lived nearby and was spending the night. 

All four suffered multiple stab wounds, according to Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt, who said at least some of the victims may have been sleeping at the start of the attack.

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Two other roommates were not attacked, including one who told police she witnessed a masked intruder with "bushy eyebrows" leaving out the back door.

Police found a Ka-Bar sheath at the scene and allege that DNA found on the thumb snap helped lead them to Kohberger, who allegedly stalked the house at least 12 times before the slayings and returned to the home the morning after, according to a probable cause affidavit.

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The suspect was a Ph.D. criminology student at Washington State University, about 10 miles away from the University of Idaho.

He was arrested on Dec. 30, when Pennsylvania police and the FBI raided his parents' house in the Poconos Mountains.

He waived extradition and is awaiting his next court date, set for June 26, in Moscow, Idaho.

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Prosecutors have not yet said whether they are seeking the death penalty against Kohberger. If so, the 28-year-old could face the death penalty if convicted at trial.