Eric Koula Trial: Opening Statements, tour, testimony - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Eric Koula Trial: Opening Statements, tour, testimony

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La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke during opening statements La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke during opening statements
Defense attorney Jim Koby presents opening statements Defense attorney Jim Koby presents opening statements

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - UPDATE: Testimony is underway on day one of the trial of Eric Koula, the West Salem man accused of killing his parents.

Testimony began with establishing what happened the morning of May 24, 2010 when the bodies of Dennis and Merna Koula were discovered in their Barre Mills home.  La Crosse County Sheriff's Sgt. James Jacobson testified that he found a hysterical Eric Koula in the driveway when he responded to the home.

Koula said he went to the home after not being able to contact his parents.  He was later arrested for their murders.

The testimony follows opening arguments from the prosecution and defense Tuesday morning.  When that concluded, jurors were taken on a tour of the Koula's Barre Mills home where the crimes occured.

Pete Zervakis will have more on today's events on Live at Five and the 6pm Report.

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) - Eric Koula's attorneys say his relationship with his father Dennis was one enviable to families everywhere. When Eric was little, his dad used to see him and say "how you doin' kiddo?" and that catchphrase stayed with the two until Eric found his father shot in the dead on the morning of May 24th.

During the opening statements today, the D.A. called Eric Koula "a man of secrets", saying he was facing $50,000 in credit card debts in May 2010 and that he knew he blew more than $150,000 combined in two bank accounts in a two year span. That is what the state says led him to shoot his parents and later write himself a $50,000 check from his father's account.

The defense says Eric was authorized by his parents to sign that check and Koula's lawyers say the prosecution's alleged motive of money is non-existent, claiming Koula was up to date with paying all his bills the month of the murders. His attorney's also say it's physically impossible that he shot his mother, with the state alleging she died at 5:41 P.M. seated at her computer.

Koula's attorneys say his friend will testify that the former left his house in La Crosse at 5:30 that day, meaning he would have just eleven minutes to make it to the crime scene in Barre Mills.

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