Lepsch Trial: Surveillance footage and stolen items - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Lepsch Trial: Surveillance footage and stolen items

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Jeffrey Lepsch enters the courtroom for day two of his trial. Jeffrey Lepsch enters the courtroom for day two of his trial.
Picture of the van believed used by Lepsch to leave the scene of the homicides. DA Tim Gruenke presented this and several other videos and photos to the jury. Picture of the van believed used by Lepsch to leave the scene of the homicides. DA Tim Gruenke presented this and several other videos and photos to the jury.

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)—Thursday was day two of testimony in the Jeffrey Lepsch murder trial.

The 40-year-old Lepsch is accused of killing 56-year-old Paul Petras and his 19-year-old A.J. inside their photo store last September.

Detective Lt. Matt Malott with the La Crosse Police Department, reviewed surveillance footage from businesses surrounding May's Photo. Malott testified video shows a man in a gray hooded sweatshirt enter May's around 1:53 PM the day of the murders.

"The subject with their hood up, carrying a bag and, it just raised suspicion that time of day with the hood up," Malott testified.

Malott says Azara Hookah shop surveillance footage shows the man leave May's around 3 PM and get in to a van, determined to be a blue dodge caravan between 2001 and 2007, with an upside down trailer hitch, though a license plate was not visible.

The Azara video police obtained ends at 3:30 PM the day of the murders, two hours before emergency personal arrived.

"When I requested it, he [the Azara video technician] then told me that the hard drive was not as big as he thought it was and we weren't able to get all of it," said Agent Vern Vandeberg with the Department of Criminal Investigation.

The defense contends during that time gap someone else could have entered the store.

After spotting the van on the video, police compiled a list of vans in the area matching the description, one of them belonged to Jeffrey Lepsch.

Investigators testified a search of Lepsch's home turned up items missing from May's.

"On top of the desk, there was a Nikon D700 camera, which I recognized as a higher end value camera, I picked up that camera, looked at the serial number, I also was in possession of the list of stolen property from May's Photo, and I matched that camera, located on that desk, to property that was stolen from May's photo," said Sgt. Dan Kloss with the La Crosse Police Department.

But in a recorded interview with police prior to his arrest, Lepsch said he bought some of the items on Craigslist in August of 2012.

When asked if he's ever been to May's Photo, Lepsch replied, "No, Never."

Jurors viewed this 1 hour interview with Lepsch, that took place right before he was taken in to custody.

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