How Strong Is Idaho Murders Suspect Bryan Kohberger's Alibi? Legal Expert Weighs In (Exclusive)

Bryan Kohberger — the man accused of killing four University of Idaho students — claims he was driving alone and was outside of Moscow on the night of the murders

<p>Zach Wilkinson-Pool/Getty </p> Bryan Kohberger in 2022

Zach Wilkinson-Pool/Getty

Bryan Kohberger in 2022

Bryan Kohberger's alibi has been revealed in recently released court documents: But will it hold up in court?

Kohberger, 29, is charged with murdering Madison Mogen, 21, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, at an off-campus residence in Moscow, Idaho, around 4 a.m. on November 13. Goncalves, Mogen and Kernodle were roommates and Chapin was dating Kernodle. Two additional roommates were home during the attack but were unharmed and ruled out as suspects.

Kohberger was a criminology Ph.D student at Washington State University and lived in Pullman, Wash., roughly eight miles away from the scene of the crime, at the time of the slayings. He has pleaded not guilty.

According to a new court filing reviewed by PEOPLE, Kohberger's public defender Anne C. Taylor claims he was driving outside of Moscow, Idaho, on the night of the murders and was not near the Moscow home where Goncalves, Mogen, Kernodle and Chapin were stabbed to death on the second and third floors.

"Mr. Kohberger was out driving in the early morning hours of November 13, 2022; as he often did to hike and run and/or see the moon and stars," the filing reads.

It also states that Kohberger was an avid runner and hiker, but adds that his hiking and running decreased during the school year, but "his nighttime drives increased."

"It's a weak alibi defense, but Kohberger's team needs to come up with some argument to get around the cell phone evidence," trial lawyer and former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani tells PEOPLE.

Rahmani is referencing the claim by prosecutors that in the days prior to the killings, Kohberger's cell phone repeatedly pinged near the murder home. But on the night of the killings, Kohberger disabled tracking on his phone, prosecutors allege.

<p>Courtesy of Chapin Family; Maddie Mogen/Instagram; Kaylee Goncalves/Instagram; Xana Kernodle/Instagram</p> From left, Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves and Xana Kernodle

Courtesy of Chapin Family; Maddie Mogen/Instagram; Kaylee Goncalves/Instagram; Xana Kernodle/Instagram

From left, Ethan Chapin, Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves and Xana Kernodle

"The reason this is coming out now is most states require the defense to provide notice of an alibi defense. So it's required by law," Rahmani adds. "If you don't provide the advance notice, you can't raise the defense at trial. So what I think is happening is that Kohberger's defense team, they're trying to tailor the story to the evidence. I mean, who drives by themselves in the middle of the night for no reason, or to look at the stars?"

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Related: Idaho Murders Suspect Bryan Kohberger's Startling Alibi: He Was Driving to 'See the Moon and Stars'

Investigators allege they tied Kohberger to the brutal slayings by using DNA evidence found on a knife sheath left at the scene in the bed where Mogen and Goncalves were found deceased, according to a probable cause affidavit previously reviewed by PEOPLE.

Related: Idaho Murders Timeline: Everything to Know About the Case

According to the affidavit, Kohberger's phone pinged 12 times in the area of the 1122 King Road home where the killings took place on at least twelve occasions prior to November 13, 2022.

"All of these occasions, except for one, occurred in the late evening and early morning hours of their respective days," the affidavit reads.

David Ryder/Getty Images; Latah County Sheriff's Office/UPI/Shutterstock 1122 King Road, left, and Bryan Kohberger
David Ryder/Getty Images; Latah County Sheriff's Office/UPI/Shutterstock 1122 King Road, left, and Bryan Kohberger

Rahmani calls Kohberger's cell phone pings and the DNA evidence "the two most damaging pieces of evidence for the defense."

If convicted, Kohberger faces the death penalty.

Related: Inside Idaho Murder Suspect's Alleged Chat Room Posts: I Can Do 'Whatever I Want with Little Remorse'

During a former appearance on NewsNation, Steve and Kristi Goncalves, the parents of Kaylee, said they support the death penalty in the case.

"Justice is when you leave the planet, and the whole world is able to rejoice and be glad that you're not there," Steve said.

Later adding: "If you want to play God's role, you're going to have to go answer to him."

The Goncalves' have also been outspoken about their disappointment with the speed of the case after numerous delays. But Rahmani says this is typical for a death penalty case.

"I know justice delayed is justice denied," he says. "But it's unfortunately not uncommon in these types of cases."

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.