Testimony underway in Golatt homicide trial - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Testimony underway in Golatt homicide trial

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UPDATE: LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN (WXOW)— The trial is underway for the man charged in connection with the death of 35-year-old Kristen Rodgers. Prosecutors say the man charged in her death strangled her and dumped her body in an alley on the northside.

Monday, the jury heard opening statements and the prosecution presented its case against 45-year-old Izelia Golatt.

Witnesses for the prosecution included three people who were with Kristen the night she died, and the investigators who reviewed surveillance video from area businesses.

The individuals with Rodgers the night she died all testified that they were using and trying to buy crack cocaine throughout the day of March 5 and into the early hours of March 6, the day Kristen's body was found. All three said Kristen left her house alone after 1 AM March 6, to go meet someone to get more crack.

The investigators who reviewed surveillance footage also testified Monday. Det. Sgt. Pat Marco testified that Golatt's van is seen on video at a gas station, and a woman wearing clothing that matched that found on Kristen Rodgers is in the passenger seat.

"We ran the license plate, the license plate was visible," Marco said. "It's clear on the DVD that that is actually the license plate of Mr. Golatt's van."

Det. Sgt. Dan Kloss then testified that video from another area business shows the van in the area Rodgers body was found.

"The van is going westbound and activates it's left blinker and turn into the alley behind DD Auto at 1133 Caledonia. You'll then see once the van turns into the ally the brake lights activate. You'll see the headlights reflect off 1122 Rose Street," Kloss said. "So it backs in, the lights span across. They then go dark."

In opening statements the defense gave a summary what they will argue. They plan to present testimony from an expert saying Rodgers death was the result of an overdose and hypothermia.

They will likely begin presenting their case Tuesday afternoon.

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The trial of a La Crosse man accused of killing a woman in March and leaving her body in an alley on the city's northside.

Opening arguments and testimony occurred Monday morning in La Crosse County Circuit Court where Izelia Golatt is on trial on a charge of First Degree Intentional Homicide.

Golatt is accused by prosecutors of strangling 33-year-old Kristen Rodgers on March 6th.  She was found in an alley off of Caledonia Street.

During opening arguments, prosecutors showed jurors a video of a van, registered to Golatt's wife, drive into the alley where Rodgers' body was discovered the following morning.

Testimony included Rodgers' husband, who stated that they were part of a group of people who were smoking crack cocaine the night of her murder.  He stated that she left the home where the party was happening to get more crack cocaine, but never returned.

In their opening arguments, Golatt's attorney Allan Beatty contends that Rodgers died from a cocaine overdose and hypothermia.

The trial is expected to continue through the week. 

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