LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Testimony has concluded in the trial of Eric Koula – the 42-year old struggling day trader from West Salem accused of killing his parents on the evening of May 21, 2010.
Testimony from the state's witnesses during the three-week trial has shown Dennis and Merna Koula were each killed by a single gunshot to the head.
The prosecution also alleges their deaths came between 5:40 pm and 6 pm that day.
Merna was shot seated at her computer, and her last keystroke was recorded at 5:41 pm.
Dennis was expected to arrive home from work just before 6:00 pm, and was shot as he entered the couple's home in Barre Mills.
Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday, and deliberations will begin afterwards.
"Primacy and recency -- the first thing and the last thing -- that's what people tend to remember," said defense attorney Ellen Thorn.
"So both sides had a huge organizational problem in this case because sandwiched in between the first and the last is a whole bunch of other important stuff. The prosecution goes first but the defense goes last," she said.
Following Monday's closing arguments, 12 of the 15 jurors that have heard the entire case will have to decide if there is any reasonable doubt Koula killed his parents.
They got to hear from Koula himself on Monday and Tuesday, and while the defendant was rattled by several of prosecutor Gary Freyberg's questions, he maintained his innocence for a day and a half on the stand.
Defense attorney Luis Delgado said a defendant electing to testify often helps his case.
"It's nice to show that the accused is not just that status – that he's not just a defendant," Delgado said. "He's a father. He's a son. So it humanizes the defendant more often than not."
The jury will be sequestered for deliberations.
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