Jury continues to deliberate in Koula trial - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Koula Jury Still Undecided, Deliberations Continue Wednesday

Posted: Updated: June 26, 2012 08:55 PM CDT

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Jurors in the trial of Eric Koula completed their first full day of deliberations Tuesday without reaching a verdict.  

The jury will reconvene Wednesday morning after spending Tuesday night at a local hotel.

Jurors are sequestered during the duration of the deliberations.

They are reviewing three charges against Koula – the 42-year old West Salem man accused of killing his parents at their Barre Mills home on May 21, 2010.

The state alleges Koula's motive was to collect an inheritance and solve his own financial problems.

He has been charged with two counts of first degree intentional homicide and one count of uttering a forgery – which stems from a $50-thousand dollar check Koula deposited into his own account.

The check was drawn against his father Dennis's account, however the Dennis's signature on the check was deemed to be a forgery.

Koula admitted on the stand that he signed his father's name on the check. However he maintains that he did so with permission, as the money was coming from an account which contained his money.

Koula testified his Dad was just keeping an eye on the savings for him.

Jurors Tuesday reviewed a three-dimensional model of the Koula household where the homicides occurred.

They also examined surveillance video from the Shopko store at Bridgeview Plaza in La Crosse.

Koula testified that he was at the store on the evening his parents were killed.

He said he left a house on La Crosse's South Side at roughly 5:30 pm that day and drove to the Bridgeview Shopko – however prosecutors maintain Koula does not appear on any surveillance video there.

The defense hasn't argued Koula is on the footage, but has pointed out that the camera pans back and forth across the parking lot, meaning there is a 45-second time period when the camera is in motion and could miss potential activity on the other side of the lot.

Koula said he was there but the camera must have missed his truck pulling in and out.

He testified he quickly walked around looking for a hanging plant, but that he stayed in the area of the canopies and greenhouses that contain the plants and flowers.

The defense argues both could have obscured him from the camera's view.  


La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -Jury deliberation is still ongoing in the Eric Koula murder trial for a second day.

Koula is the 42-year old West Salem man that is accused of killing his parents at their home in Barre Mills in May, 2010.

Twelve men and women received the case around 4 o'clock Monday afternoon.

They reconvened around 9 Tuesday morning.

During their deliberations, they have asked to review the video surveillance tape from the Shopko store where Koula is supposed to have stopped at while looking for a plant for his wife.  They also asked to see the 3-D model of Dennis and Merna Koula's home. 

As the deliberations continue into Tuesday evening, we have a crew at the La Crosse County Courthouse awaiting a verdict in the case.  We will be have the verdict live on wxow.com/live when it comes in.


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Jurors deliberated into Monday evening without reaching a verdict in the Eric Koula case. 

They received the case late Monday afternoon.

After roughly five hours without coming to a decision, the jury was then sequestered for the night.

They are scheduled to resume their deliberations on Tuesday morning.


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The fate of Eric Koula rests in the hands of the jury.

Closing arguments and rebuttal finished late Monday afternoon.  Following jury instructions from Judge Scott Horne, the 12 men and women are now behind closed doors deciding the fate of Koula.

He's the West Salem man accused of killing his parents for an inheritance according to prosecutors.

Jurors will deliberate into Monday evening.  If there's no verdict tonight, jurors will be sequestered in a local hotel and resume their work on Tuesday.


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Both sides are painting opposite pictures of Eric Koula, the man on trial for fatally shooting his parents.

Closing arguments were Monday morning in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

First up was District Attorney Tim Gruenke.  He described Eric Koula as a man who was a failed day trader of stocks and who was desperate for money.  In laying out his argument, Gruenke said that Koula had the "motive, means, and opportunity" to kill his parents.  Gruenke also told the jury was in dire straits financially, but didn't want people to know it.  He went out to dinners and played golf twice a week.  After two years of investigations, Gruenke said the only person who lied to law enforcement and presented an alibi that didn't check out was Eric Koula.

In contrast, defense attorney Jim Koby portrayed Koula as a person who had a close, loving relationship with his parents Dennis and Merna.  Koby also stated that prosecutors have no direct evidence linking Koula to the murders-no DNA evidence, fingerprints, footprint evidence that puts Koula in the home at the time of the shootings.  Koby did admit that the 'Fixed You' note that Koula confessed put in his mailbox proves is that "Eric is scared and proves that Eric was stupid."

Jury instructions follow the closing arguments, then the jury begins deliberations.

Pete Zervakis will have more on the case tonight on Live at Five and the 6pm and 10pm Report.

We will have live coverage of the jury verdict when that occurs here on www.wxow.com/live.

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