Koula trial begins; son accused of killing his parents

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LA CROSSE, Wis (WEAU)- June 5th was day one of the Eric Koula murder trial.

He’s accused of killing his parents in their home back in 2010, for money.

Jurors heard opening statements and toured the home were the killings happened.

Tim Grunenke, La Crosse County D.A. said in his opening statement against the defense that Eric Koula had the motive of money to kill his parents May 21st 2010.

Eric was a 42-year-old struggling West Salem day trader and in May his stocks were lower than ever.

Grunenke said that Eric wasn’t only financially unstable, but that he forged his fathers signature on a 50 thousand dollar check that he cashed the day after his parents died.

“The truth is that the defendant is responsible for killing his parents and forging this check in May of 2010,” said Grunenke.

Eric’s lead attorney James Koby gave his opening statement after Grunenke. Koby said in his statement that he believes it to be impossible for Eric to have killed his parents due to a short time frame.

Investigators said that Merna Koula typed the last key on her computer at 5:41PM and believe her death to be at the same time.

Eric was at his friends house until 5:30PM helping place tile in the bathroom. Eric also has a receipt for buying a plant at the Onalaska Shopko at 6:15PM.

Koby stated that he believes that the murder of Dennis and Merna Koula was professional.

“Before Dennis and Merna were murdered their neighbor Steve Burges had been receiving threats. The assisnation of the Koulas was most likely caused by a professional,” said Koby.

After the opening statements the jury took a tour of the Koula’s home to get a better understanding of the evidence that will be shown to them during the trial.

The trial will last 20 days.


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