(NewsNation) — One of the survivors of the Idaho college killings is fighting against a subpoena requiring her presence and potential testimony at the preliminary hearing of accused murderer Bryan Kohberger, NewsNation national correspondent Brian Entin has learned.
Bethany Funke is arguing that she should not have to testify at the preliminary hearing nor for the duration of the trial. The subpoena for Funke, who is now believed to be living in Nevada, was issued April 11. An attorney for Funke moved to quash the subpoena 10 days later, claiming it was “improperly issued” and that a hearing must be held before Funke can be required to testify.
“There is no authority for an Idaho criminal defendant to summon a Nevada witness to Idaho for preliminary hearing,” the motion by Funke’s attorney says, in part. “There is also no authority for an Idaho criminal defendant to summon a Nevada witness to an Idaho matter without a hearing.”
According to court documents, the preliminary hearing is scheduled to happen June 26 through June 30.
Idaho Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall wrote on March 24 that Funke “may” be a material witness for the case and that she will be required to attend the hearing at the Latah County Courthouse in Moscow, Idaho, beginning on the morning of June 28. Currently, it’s unclear if there has been a response to Funke’s latest argument to not go to the hearing.
In her motion, Funke’s attorney wrote: “A preliminary hearing is not meant to become a mini-trial due to its limited purpose in deciding of probable cause.”
Investigators allege Kohberger fatally stabbed Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin in the early morning hours of Nov. 13 at an off-campus rental home in Moscow, Idaho.
A source close to the families of the victims told NewsNation in February that Funke was not among those who discovered the bodies, and that she was the only one living in the basement at the house and did not go upstairs after the killings.
Similarly, Marc Klaas had to testify in a courtroom after his 12-year-old daughter Polly was kidnapped and killed in 1993. During an appearance on NewsNation’s “Banfiled,” Klaas shared his perspective on Funke.
“I think it’s a brutal way to get this young woman to testify. … She’s had enough. My goodness, that poor lady. Everything that she’s gone through, and continues to have to go through,” Klaas said. “This is probably the defining moment of her life in many ways, and they’re asking her to come into a hearing room and face, I assume that he’ll (Kohberger) be there.”
A hearing date to determine whether Funke must testify has not been set.
Entin also discovered the gag order in the Kohberger case will remain due to an Idaho Supreme Court ruling issued Monday.
Kohberger is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary in connection to the case.