Prosecution to argue financial motive in May's Photo killings - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Prosecution to argue financial motive in May's Photo killings

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)— A court appearance today for Jeffrey Lepsch, the man charged with a double murder in downtown La Crosse last September.

The 40-year-old is accused in the shooting deaths of Paul and A.J. Petras at the photo store they owned.

Prosecutors say Lepsch still owed restitution from a 2003 conviction for theft from a hardware store distribution center. The jury will be allowed to hear about the previous conviction and the amount of money he owed.

"I wanted to put that in front of the jury, as a financial motive that he had that judgment against him for that amount of money in addition to the rest of his financial situation," said La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke.

The defense says they agree the state has a legitimate reason to introduce the acts and understand they will do it to try to establish motive. However the defense wants to stipulate the prior conviction was a property crime not a violent crime.

Lepsch's next court appearance is July 8.

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