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Koula Admits Signing Check, Writing Threatening Note

Posted: Updated: June 18, 2012 01:37 PM CDT
Eric Koula, seated, talking with one of his defense attorneys, Keith Belzer Eric Koula, seated, talking with one of his defense attorneys, Keith Belzer
Koula testifying in his own defense, Monday, June 18. Photos by Pete Zervakis Koula testifying in his own defense, Monday, June 18. Photos by Pete Zervakis

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Eric Koula had his chance to explain two of the state's pivotal pieces of evidence against him while on the witness stand Monday.

But he first answered questions from the defense regarding the morning of May 24, 2010 when he found his parents, Dennis and Merna, dead in their home.

"I go inside and that's when I see my dad on the floor," Koula said. "I yell to him, grab his leg. I'm yelling for my mom. Nobody's answering."

"I grabbed my phone, called 9-1-1," Koula said, "it just spins in your head over and over and over – for more than two years. It doesn't get any better."

Koula then explained a $50-thousand dollar check made out to him and seemingly signed by his father Dennis.

Koula testified that he went to his father's house on May 20, 2010 to take some money out of a reserve fund which he said contained his money.

Koula said he had asked his Dad to keep the money on the side for him as a safety net in case he ever ran into a sudden need, and since he did not know how much he wanted to take out, Koula testified his Dad gave him a blank check, before telling him to fill it out and sign it.

But he Koula never mentioned the check to investigators in interviews following the alleged homicides on his parents May 21, 2010.

Nor did he admit until the trial that he had in fact signed his father's name.

"The situation's so hard to understand -- it's impossible," Koula said. "I'd gotten a check from my Dad. I knew what that was going to look like."

"The one person who could verify this is no longer with me and I just didn't think I could explain it at that time," Koula added.

Koula also answered questions Monday regarding a note, reading "Fixed You," which he found in his mailbox May 28.

Koula testified he reported the note one day after police spent 45 minutes questioning his son.

He said he panicked that his oldest child had become a suspect in the killings and wanted to take attention away from him.

So he wrote the note himself.

"I don't know why I wrote 'fixed you' on it, but ‘I wrote fixed you,'" Koula said. "I put it in an envelope and put it in the mailbox.  


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Money is at the center of the prosecution's case against Eric Koula, accused of killing his parents in May, 2010.

Prosecutors contend that Koula shot his parents in order to collect on an inheritance that would bail him out financially.

Eric Koula began explaining his financial and personal relationship with his parents when he took the stand Monday morning.

Koula stated he had a very close relationship with his father Dennis and his mother Merna.   

The close relationship extended into business as well.  Dennis Koula owned, then sold, a car dealership in West Salem.  Dennis Koula gave Eric $550,000 when the business sold in 2006.  Eric also had in interest in an extended car warranty insurance business that closed for which Dennis paid Eric another $225,000.

Koula then worked from home as a day trader, buying and selling stock options.  By 2009, the majority of the money was gone.

Following the lunch break, Koula returned to the stand to describe the events of the day of the shooting of his parents.

WXOW and www.wxow.com/live will have more on Eric Koula's testimony throughout the day and this evening on Live at Five and the 6pm and 10pm Reports.



LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Eric Koula is on the stand testifying Monday morning as the third week of the double homicide trial continues against him.

Using large photos from his attorney Keith Belzer, Koula testified of his close relationship with his father Dennis.

Koula is accused of shooting his father and mother in their Barre Mills home in 2010.

We will continue to have updates on the trial here on wxow.com.  You can also watch the trial live at www.wxow.com/live


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - According to sources, Eric Koula is expected to take the stand in his own defense this morning.

Koula is charged with two counts of first degree intentional homicide in the fatal shootings of his parents Dennis and Merna Koula in 2010.  Eric Koula also faces a charge of forgery for faking Dennis' signature on a check.

The trial against Koula is now starting its third week.  Testimony is expected to conclude by the end of the week.

We have live streaming coverage of the trial at www.wxow.com/live.

Pete Zervakis will also have a wrap up of today's events on Live at Five, the 6pm, and the 10pm Report.

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