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University of Idaho Murders Survivor Requests To Skip Suspect Bryan Kohberger's Court Hearing
Bethany Funke was one of two University of Idaho students who survived the November 2022 killings, which shocked the nation.
A survivor of the University of Idaho murders is requesting the court allow her to skip an upcoming hearing for suspect Bryan Kohberger.
Bethany Funke's attorney, Kelli Anni Viloria, filed a motion to quash a foreign subpoena in a Washoe County District Court on Friday, according to court records reviewed by Oxygen.com.
Funke, one of two surviving roommates, was subpoenaed by the defense to appear at Bryan Kohberger's June preliminary hearing and potentially the remainder of the trial, which is set to take place in Latah County, Idaho, according to NBC News. The preliminary hearing will see lawyers present evidence to the court.
Kohberger has not yet entered a plea to four counts of first-degree murder and burglary in connection to the November 2022 killings of University of Idaho students Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin. A previous attorney for Kohberger stated that the defendant claims he's innocent.
Funke, who was in the home during the slayings, has been asked to attend the hearing by Kohberger's defense team as she "has information material to the charges against Mr. Kohberger; portions of information Ms. Funke has is exculpatory to the defendant," according to an affidavit signed by Richard Bitonti, NBC News reported.
"Ms. Funke's information is unique to her experiences and cannot be provided by another witness," the affidavit continued.
However, Viloria argued in her motion that Bitonti's affidavit does not sufficiently explain why Funke's interviews with law enforcement "would be entertained at [the] preliminary hearing." Viloria stated that any exculpatory evidence could instead be presented during the trial.
Additionally, Viloria stated there is "no authority for an Idaho criminal defendant to summon a Nevada witness to Idaho for preliminary hearing."
It's unclear when the Nevada district court will make a decision on the matter. Viloria's office did not respond to NBC News' request for comment.
Moscow police previously stated that roommates Funke and Dylan Mortensen were asleep in their respective rooms during the killings.
While Funke seemingly slept through her roommates' stabbings, Mortensen told investigators she was awoken around 4 a.m., according to a probable cause affidavit released in January. She thought she had been woken up by Goncalves "playing with her dog in an upstairs bedroom," and later heard someone say, "there’s someone here."
When Mortensen opened her door a second time to see what the noise was, "she heard a male voice say something to the effect of ‘it’s ok, I’m going to help you,'" the affidavit read.
Then, after opening her door the third and final time, she saw a male figure "clad in black clothing." He walked by her and out the sliding glass door as she stood in "a frozen shock state."
Though many have criticized Funke and Mortensen for not calling 911 until 12 p.m. that day, Shannon Gray, an attorney for the Goncalves family, has said that they hold no "ill will" toward either of them, particularly Mortensen. "She’s a victim in this case. Everybody kind of forgets that," he said.
Authorities previously said that evidence suggests Kohberger had been stalking the students at their home, where investigators also found a knife sheath that allegedly had his DNA on it, Oxygen.com previously reported.
The home where the students were murdered is now due to be demolished, University President Scott Green announced in February.
"This is a healing step and removes the physical structure where the crime that shook our community was committed," Green said of the building, located just blocks from the school. "Demolition also removes efforts to further sensationalize the crime scene."