Eric Koula’s chase 20-day balloon for the 2010 cutting deaths of his parents begins Monday, aback prosecutors will try to prove through a amplified case that he was motivated to kill.
The ysis is the bigger in La Crosse County’s history with added than 15 bounded and accompaniment board dedicating hundreds of hours.
Much of the state’s case will focus on what prosecutors accept is motive: The about bankrupt West Salem day banker and beneficiary to his affluent parents’ acreage dead them for the inheritance.
Koula’s aegis team, ample with four attorneys and a clandestine investigator, will altercate that a accomplished and able gesic accomplished Dennis and Merna Koula central their boondocks of Barre home on May 21. Their son will testify.
The aegis additionally has to aing a acute 60-minute window of befalling during which board say Eric Koula is unaccounted for.
“The state’s absolute case is motive,” said La Crosse advocate Dan Ryan, who is not complex with the case. “If you can prove motive, again you can ask the question, Who abroad would accept done it?”
Eric Koula, 42, said he begin his parents’ bodies at 8:47 a.m. May 24 afterwards his mother bootless to appearance for a acting teaching appointment that Monday morning.
“I affected my dad’s leg and he wouldn’t move, and my mom’s arm is purple,” said a agitated Koula on the 911 recording.
Authorities begin his father’s anatomy in the kitchen, barter keys and a half-empty baptize canteen still in his hands. Board accept he was dead anon afterwards entering the abode about 5:50 p.m. May 21 afterwards a about-face at a Atramentous River Falls pharmacy.
Merna Koula sat at the home appointment computer, her arch comatose on the board and her larboard duke on the keyboard.
Authorities accept she died at 5:41 p.m., aback her computer recorded its aftermost keyboard stroke.
Dennis Koula, 68, had a gunshot anguish to the appropriate ancillary of his head; Merna Koula, 65, was attempt in the aback of the head, according to the dissection reports.
Metal bits extracted during dissection are constant with .22-caliber armament begin aing to a .22-caliber burglarize in an admiral closet. Several circuit were missing from the armament box, but no fingerprints or DNA were recovered from the firearm.
Eric Koula told board he endemic a .22-caliber rifle, and board bedeviled a block of copse from his abode he acclimated for ambition convenance that had .22-caliber bullets in it, according to reports. They additionally confiscated a brace of atramentous covering gloves from his auto truck.
Prosecutors say arrangement larboard on ammo bits recovered from Dennis Koula bout those that would be larboard by the burglarize begin in the closet or Eric Koula’s firearm.
Pieces of a ammo begin in Merna Koula are too askew to yze markings, admitting the weight is constant with a .22 ability bullet. Aegis experts can affirm the bullets bout assorted .22 ability rifles or handguns, aegis attorneys argue.
Authorities begin accessible chiffonier drawers but no signs of affected access to the Koula abode at N3071 Fox Hollow Drive. Electronics, coins, jewelry, a purse and wallet were larboard behind.
Eric Koula denies killing his parents, cogent board he spent the day they died day-trading at home until about 2:30 p.m. aback he chock-full at Walmart for roses and an ceremony agenda for his wife.
He additionally said he chock-full at Walmart beforehand in the day and didn’t leave his abode until 3:30 p.m.
He said he helped a acquaintance with asphalt assignment at a abode on the 2000 block of Loomis Street until about 5:30 p.m., aback he collection to Shopko on the North Ancillary to buy a bulb for his wife. He is not apparent on surveillance video.
Searching for a bigger selection, Koula again collection to Shopko in Onalaska and volunteered a cancellation acceptance a 6:15 p.m. purchase. Koula’s wife said he alleged about 5:30 p.m., accustomed home about 6:30 p.m. with the blind bulb and anon showered.
“Sorry I’m late. It took me best than expected,” Koula told her, according to reports.
The brace larboard for Wason’s Supper Club in Galesville about 7 p.m. to bless their 16th anniversary. Again they had albino with friends.
Investigators accept Koula larboard Loomis Street afore 5:30 p.m. Testing his annual with cartage at 5:15 p.m. on a Friday, board bent it takes 14 annual active the acceleration absolute to biking from Loomis Street to Dennis and Merna Koula’s abode and 10 annual from there to the Onalaska Shopko.
Koula’s wife, Christine Koula, said her mother-in-law was at their abode until about 5:30 p.m. May 21 bottomward off balloons and a TGI Friday’s allowance agenda for their anniversary. Her annual contradicts affirmation recovered from Merna Koula’s home computer that shows Internet action at 5:14 p.m.
Koula alleged his parents’ home alert the day afterwards they were dead to acknowledge them for the ceremony present and to allure them to a barbeque.
Also on that Saturday, he deposited a artificial $50,000 ysis fatigued from his father’s beforehand account, but “did not assume himself” to a teller at the acclaim union, letters stated.
Koula said his ancestor gave him a bare ysis on May 20 aback he chock-full by his parents’ abode for 10 minutes.
The accompaniment Crime Laboratory afterwards bent Dennis Koula’s signature on the ysis was forged, and board accept they begin the checkbook that produced the artificial ysis aback they searched Eric Koula’s house.
It wasn’t until a July 29, 2010, annual aloof afore his arrest for two counts of first-degree advised assassination and bogus that Koula mentioned the deposited check. Until then, board accept testified, “he did not feel it was accordant to the investigation.”
Koula’s accepted affidavit that he active the ysis with permission of his ancestor will belie his annual to board that Dennis Koula active it.
“I apperceive it ability attending suspicious, but I apperceive my bedmate didn’t do this,” Christine Koula told investigators. “I apperceive 110 percent.”
A banking able bent Eric Koula was abysmal in debt and abaft on his mortgage, according to the complaint. An beforehand aggregation told him during a May 21 buzz alarm he had alone $12.39 in his account.
Koula additionally alleged about a banknote beforehand on his Discover acclaim agenda at about the aforementioned time he said his ancestor handed him the bare check.
He had aloof $1,833 amid three banks accounts afore he deposited the artificial $50,000 check. He additionally owed tens of bags in aback taxes, according to testimony.
Dennis Koula gave his son $500,000 in 2007, and addition $100,000 in October 2009, but Eric Koula drained the funds bottomward to hundreds aural months, board testified.
Dennis Koula allegedly told his brother two canicule afore he died that he was “all done giving to the kids,” admitting attorneys accept argued who he meant by “kids.”
Eric Koula and his wife had no sources of assets above his day trading.
A anniversary afterwards his parents’ death, Eric Koula said he accustomed an envelope absolute a letter adage alone “fixed u.” The envelope had the aforementioned different birthmark as two others begin in his abode with abstracts anachronous in 2006.
Prosecutors accept he beatific the agenda himself, but his attorneys point out the Accompaniment Crime Laboratory begin bristles anonymous fingerprints on the letter.
The state’s case is able with motive and affirmation of Eric Koula’s banking problems, said Ryan, a advocate afterward the case. Eric Koula’s advocate charge abode his finances, inconsistent statements, the artificial ysis and a all-a-quiver timeline.
“I anticipate you about accept to accept Eric Koula affirm to explain those things,” Ryan said. “The ysis is an important piece. That’s the motive appropriate there. That brings it calm for the state.”
But, as his advocate credibility out, no one saw Eric Koula at his parents’ abode the day they were killed, and his befalling to accomplish the killings is tight, Ryan said.
“And that’s somewhat of a problem, but I don’t anticipate it’s baleful because you accept able affirmation of motive,” he said.
Prosecutors accept not presented concrete affirmation or DNA attached Koula to the crimes, aegis advocate Luis Delgado said.
“They accept a abundance to climb,” he said. “Most bodies would be adamantine apprenticed to acquisition a son to be able of killing one ancestor abundant beneath than two parents for article like money.”
But prosecutors can present Koula’s banking troubles and affirmation of motive to adverse that, Delgado conceded.
The awry envelope and artificial ysis will be problems for the defense, Delgado said, but Koula’s inconsistent statements can be attributed to addition adversity shock, accent and grief.
Attorneys will present aperture statements in Koula’s balloon Tuesday afore the board tours his parents’ above house. The balloon is set through June 29.
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