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Cara Kernodle, Mother of Idaho Murder Victim, Charged With Trespassing

Newsweek 2/2/2023 Khaleda Rahman
A booking photo show Cara Kernodle, the mother of one of the four University of Idaho students who were slain this past November. She was arrested and charged this week with first-degree criminal trespassing in Washington state. © Kootenai County Sheriff's Department A booking photo show Cara Kernodle, the mother of one of the four University of Idaho students who were slain this past November. She was arrested and charged this week with first-degree criminal trespassing in Washington state.

The mother of one of the four slain University of Idaho students is in jail after being arrested earlier this week.

Cara Kernodle, also known as Cara Northington, is in the Spokane County Jail in Washington, online records show. She was booked on a charge of first-degree criminal trespassing on Tuesday, and her bond was set at $250.

A spokesperson for the Spokane County Sheriff's Office told Newsweek Kernodle was arrested after a caller reported a green sedan with a "non-responsive" male in the driver's seat in a parking lot near Rimrock Drive and Greenwood Road on the morning of January 31.

"A deputy arrived and located a vehicle as described," the spokesperson said.

Kernodle was found to have felony warrants out of Kootenai County, Idaho, and Nez Perce County, Idaho, for drug charges, and a misdemeanor warrant out of Airway Heights, Washington, for trespassing, the spokesperson said.

"Kernodle was booked into the Spokane County Jail on the Airway Heights warrant and a hearing regarding extradition back to Idaho," the spokesperson said. "She can either waive extradition or go through the extradition process."

The male was "clear and released without any new charges," the spokesperson added.

Kernodle's daughter Xana, 20, and three others— Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, and Ethan Chapin, 20—were found dead in a rental home in Moscow, Idaho, on November 13.

Bryan Kohberger, 28, a former doctoral candidate in criminology at Washington State University, was arrested in Pennsylvania on December 30 and charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony burglary. He has not entered a plea, but a lawyer who represented him in Pennsylvania said he was "eager to be exonerated."

Last week, it emerged that Kohberger's attorney, Kootenai County chief public defender Anne Taylor, had represented Cara Kernodle up until taking Kohberger's case, a detail that legal experts told Newsweek raises questions about conflicts of interest.

Two other parents of the victims have also been represented by Taylor in prior, unrelated cases.

Kernodle has said she feels betrayed by Taylor. "I'm heartbroken because I trusted her. She pretended that she was wanting to help me and to find that out that she's representing him, I can't even convey how betrayed I feel," she said on the NewsNation TV network last week.

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Kernodle added that she "absolutely" will fight Taylor's representation of Kohberger and will refuse to sign a waiver that would allow the attorney to continue representing him.

"I'd already signed over power of attorney so that she could help me with getting into rehab and whatnot," she said. "I don't understand how she could do this. I don't understand what happens now."

Kernodle was arrested in Idaho's Kootenai County on November 19, less than a week after the Idaho killings—and charged with two felony counts for possession of a controlled substance.

Meanwhile, a five-day preliminary hearing in Kohberger's case is scheduled to begin on June 26.

Taylor, along with law enforcement agencies and others, is barred from speaking about the case because of a gag order issued by Latah County Magistrate Judge Megan Marshall in early January.

The order was later expanded to also prohibit attorneys representing survivors, witnesses or the victims' family members from talking or writing about the case.

Update 2/7/23, 9:50 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with information from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

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