Monroe County, PA – Nine years before he was charged with the murder of four college students in Idaho, Brian Kohberger was arrested in his native Pennsylvania and charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly stealing his sister’s iPhone, according to records reviewed by ABC News. The allegation was made.
According to court records, it was Kohberger’s father, Michael, who reported the incident to the police.
According to the record, Michael Kohberger told law enforcement that Brian warned him “not to do anything stupid” after learning that his son had picked up the phone, adding that his son was struggling with drug addiction. Was.
As described in these records, Brian Kohberger’s earlier run-ins with the law are only now coming to light, as he prepares to defend himself against charges that he last assaulted four University of Idaho students. was murdered.
According to records, Brian Kohberger was 19 when he was arrested in 2014 for alleged burglary. According to officials, he did not serve any jail time. There is no longer any public record of that arrest or the outcome of the case.
Monroe County, Pennsylvania offers first offenders the opportunity to enter a pre-trial program called “accelerated rehabilitative disposition,” which allows the charges to be dropped and “expunged” from the record after the accused successfully completes probation. .
Martin Sauto Diaz, the attorney representing the Kohberger family, declined to comment on the record describing the earlier arrest. The district attorney’s office in Monroe County also did not comment.
in a court filing on MondayIdaho prosecutors announced that they intend to seek the death penalty against Brian Kohberger for the alleged murders.
It remains to be seen whether the alleged 2014 incident and his past alleged history with drug abuse will have any bearing – or any clues – on what happened in the early morning hours of November 13, 2022. When four college students – Ethan Chapin, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; Zana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were found stabbed to death at an off-campus home on King Road in Moscow, Idaho.
A source informed about the case ABC News The alleged 2014 incident is now the subject of investigation for prosecutors in Idaho as they prepare for an impending capital trial that could begin as early as October.
“You want to find all the pieces of the puzzle, even as you keep finding new pieces,” said ABC News law enforcement contributor Richard Frankel, a retired senior FBI officer and former prosecutor in Suffolk County, a suburb of New York City.
“You’re working to figure out how they all fit together,” Frankel said, speaking generally on the investigative process for making a case.
“One, it’s a big jump to go from an (alleged) nonviolent burglary — and from a family member — to a multiple murder charge. And second, eight years is a long time for nothing,” Frankel said. . “So, I would like to know as both a prosecutor and an investigator, what did he do in those years between?”
ABC News contributor and retired New York City Police Department chief of detectives Robert Boyce said, “What you’re seeing right now is whether this was a seminal moment, and whether it was a precursor for things to come. “
A trial for the quadruple murder has been set for October 2, although it may be delayed.
Brian Kohberger is scheduled to appear at the Latah County Courthouse Tuesday afternoon for the next in an ongoing series of pre-trial hearings related to the murder case. He is being held without bail in the Latah County Jail.
Brian Kohberger’s team is pushing for a pause in his case while the defense and prosecution debate the scope of the grand jury material that can or should be released. His attorneys are trying to determine whether there is any basis to dismiss his indictment based on the way the grand jury was selected, according to court documents.
According to court filings, the defense is asking Idaho prosecutors to disclose more details about their investigation, including information gleaned from their forensic DNA analysis and cellphone records.
Tuesday’s hearing is also expected to focus on Brian Kohberger’s request to see whether an alibi should be offered at trial, as his attorneys say they are facing an “overwhelming” and “still-ongoing” search, according to a recent court filing. Trying to navigate the process. filing. Prosecutors said they would not object to a “reasonable extension” to make a decision, as long as a possible pretext is presented within the next month.
See also: More DNA links suspect Brian Kohberger to University of Idaho murders: FBI
On Saturday, February 8, 2014, Brian Kohberger “recently left a rehabilitation center and rejoined family,” his father told police in Pennsylvania, according to records reviewed by ABC News. According to the records, Michael Kohberger told police that after coming home from rehab, Brian took his sister Melissa’s iPhone, which was estimated to be worth $400.
Officials said, according to records, Brian Kohberger paid a friend $20 to pick him up and drive him to a local mall, where he sold the phone for $200 at an automated kiosk for used electronics.
Records say Brian Kohberger was charged with misdemeanor theft and no further explanation was given of what happened from there.
“In any case, we will always create a timeline. And in this case, I would not only create a timeline of the actual (alleged murder) event, minute by minute – but I would also create a practical timeline from her adolescence to her adulthood. timeline, because I want to know who this guy is,” Frankel said.
Frankel said, “It all goes to an assessment of her character—it can also help me when I interview other people about her, because I can know what are the right questions to ask.” “
Brian Kohberger, now 28, was indicted last month in Idaho and charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of burglary.
During his arraignment in Idaho in late May, Brian Kohberger declined to enter a plea, so the judge entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.
RELATED: Brian Kohberger update: Attorney says ‘no connection’ between defendant and slain Idaho students
Authorities allege that on the morning of November 13, 2022, Criminology Ph.D. Brian Kohberger. A Washington State University student broke into a home outside campus and stabbed four students from the nearby University of Idaho to death.
After searching for more than six weeks, according to police documents, police focused on Brian Kohberger as a suspect, tracking his white Hyundai Elantra, cellphone signal data, and matching his DNA to a knife, according to officials. Recovered from the sheath of a knife found nearby. of the dead bodies of the victims.
Authorities said in a recent filing that DNA evidence taken from a knife sheath at the crime scene “shows a statistical match” with swabs taken directly from Brian Kohberger’s cheek after his arrest.
Brian Kohberger’s attorneys rejected that analysis in several recent court filings, casting doubt on whether the DNA evidence indisputably implicates their client, saying that “statistical probabilities are not absolute,” and that “the DNA evidence pointed to the total lack of “From the victims in Kohburger’s house or car.
He was arrested at his family home in Pennsylvania on December 30, 2022, after driving cross-country to spend the holidays in Albrightsville.
Some of Brian Kohberger’s childhood acquaintances told ABC News that the “quiet” but “funny” man they knew began alienating some of his friends in high school after his drug habit developed. Went.
Casey Arntz, who went to high school with Kohberger, told ABC News that he used to ask her for rides, which she later learned were to buy drugs.
Arntz said, “Brian used me to drive me around and get heroin.” “A lot of people are like, well, why were you still friends with her after that? And I’m like that, because you should forgive her. I mean, you can’t blame her for getting stuck in this hole.” Could. And I did, I forgave him.”