For the quest, I decided to kill Uthgerd from Whiterun. After doing so and talking to Boethiah, she sends me and all the other cultists down into the circle to fight. Before the fight starts, I get told I have a 1000 bounty in Whiterun. How?
The only witnesses were the cultists and how could they possibly know where the two of us came from? Furthermore, none of them would have had the time to report it, nor would they have cared enough to report it, because they're a part of what I did and had probably done it themselves. Does this always happen and was it supposed to? Or is it a glitch? Doesn't make any sense to me. Should be impossible to get a bounty under the circumstances.
A glitch, the bounty is given where you do the killing, not where the target is from. But for the rest of the game be aware that deer can report your crimes, I do wish it was only the things that make you unhidden, it is annoying to get a bounty when you were undetected.
I refuse to have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed
it happened to me but after i killed the cultists it said last witness killed and went away.
I reloaded my save and I got the bounty again but then I killed the last witness like you did and thought everything was fine. However, upon entering Dragonsreach to enchant a few items, everyone inside started to attack me. Guess I'm just going to have to wait a few days before going inside Dragonsreach again.