Amid Thursday’s revelation that a suspect in the University of Idaho quadruple murder case has been arrested, there is a tangential matter involving a claim that a history professor at the university was involved in, and in fact “ordered” the grisly murders.
That entirely baseless and absurd accusation was offered up by a TikTok conspiracy troll named Ashley Guillard. Guillard is based in Texas and is a self-described internet “sleuth” and tarot card reader. The story begins 11 days after the November 13th murders. Guillard alleged that a University of Idaho professor named Rebecca Scofield was responsible for the grisly murders. Guillard started her TikTok campaign on November 24th and continued her assault on facts for multiple days thereafter.
The police have said that Scofield was not and has never been a suspect or a “person of interest.”
Though Scofield is a professor at the university, she has said that she didn’t know any of the victims and had never met any of them. She was horrified to learn that Guillard had made the claims and, through her attorneys, demanded via a cease and desist letter that Guillard remove and retract the claims. Guillard refused, apparently standing by her “readings” saying in part:
‘When I go to court and they see the evidence or they see how I connect the dots, then they’ll make a decision as it pertains to whether they want to continue to live in blinders or believe it. If they don’t, I don’t care.’
Scofield has sued Guillard for defamation. Guillard has claimed (again without a shred of evidence) that Scofield was in a sexual relationship with Kaylee Goncalves.
Jonathan Turley posted an article about the defamation suit and noted that Guillard isn’t asserting that her wild accusations are just an opinion; rather, Guillard is holding to the defense of “truth.” In a defamation suit, “Truth is the ultimate defense.” But truth requires that the defense offer evidence to that effect. In light of the arrest of Bryan Christopher Kohberger, 28, in Scranton, PA on Thursday, it’s hard to see how Guillard will do anything but offer a tarot card reading and point to more nonsense as her defense.
In one video, Guillard said that Scofield conspired with an anonymous University of Idaho student, identified only as J.D., to murder the students.
Further, Guillard has “doubled down,” offering more ranting claims she has the goods on Scofield, and she is looking forward to defending her mystic nonsense in court.
“I am actually gleaming with excitement . . . People just don’t get it, like I’ve been against people big and small, corporations and giants and systemic policies [and] racism and won. They all regret coming against me. All of them…Now Rebecca is going to be added to that list of regretful people.”
The complaint was filed on December 21, 2022, in federal court for the District of Idaho.
I watched some of the videos in question. They are a collection of nonsense and baseless rants. You can make your own judgment but Guillard seems to be a not-very-bright internet troll and not bright enough to realize that she is in way over her head. Guillard might find a lawyer willing to defend baseless claims, but I doubt it. Scofield’s complaint is well founded but it has already cost her time and money to prosecute her claim.
In light of the arrest of Kohberger, it would be in Guillard’s best interests to beg for forgiveness, admit that she was wrong, and hope that she can pay, over time, thousands in legal fees and costs, but I doubt she has the common sense to do so. It’s more likely that she sees “the free publicity” as a benefit for her internet “brand.”
While practicing, I saw plenty of bad people and stupid people represented by bad lawyers. It was usually bad people filing silly and baseless lawsuits. In this case, the defendant is in for a shock. If she is willing to put up, what appears to be a completely idiotic and baseless defense she will get hammered.
I could “wish her luck” but I’d be lying. I hope Guillard is ruined financially and laughed off of the internet.