Why Koula Jurors Need to Avoid Media - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Why Koula Jurors Need to Avoid Media


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – More witnesses for the defense are expected to be called Monday in the trial of Eric Koula.

The 42-year old Koula is accused of killing each of his parents with a single gunshot to the head on May 21, 2010.

Prosecutors allege his motive was to collect an inheritance and solve his own financial problems.

Koula himself told a financial expert for the defense he had just $4-thousand or so left in cash at the time of the alleged homicides.  

The state rested its case late last week.

At the start of each day's testimony, Judge Scott Horne asks jurors whether or not they have been exposed to any media coverage of the case.

All jurors are strictly instructed to not view any media regarding the case at the time they receive their summons, and defense attorney Ellen Thorn, who has been following the case, says it's imperative the jury not disregard that command.

"It's not law and order, where the whole trial happens in 20 minutes," Thorn said. "There's a whole bunch of stuff that goes on."

"I always think what you hear in the media is generally the same facts that the jury hears," Thorn added, "but the jury may not think those are as important as the reporter."

"So that gives undue influence to evidence they may not think is that significant in the first place," she said.

Koula faces life in prison if convicted.

His trial is scheduled to run through June, 29.

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