Eric Koula in his second appeal argues that he is not responsible for his parents’ murders and claims he has uncovered evidence implicating another family member in their deaths.
The person, who the Tribune is not identifying, had a financial motive and is unaccounted for when authorities believe Dennis and Merna Koula were shot in their town of Barre house on May 21, 2010, Koula writes in his appeal.
“… there is not a shred of evidence suggesting that Mr. Koula was capable of murder, not a shred of evidence suggesting that Mr. Koula was filled with hatred towards his parents,” according to the appeal. “In respect to the (alternative suspect), there is an abundance of indisputable evidence establishing just that.”
Koula’s appeal is expected to be filed Wednesday with the District 4 Court of Appeals. He provided a copy to the Tribune.
Prosecutors at a marathon trial in La Crosse County Circuit Court in 2012 argued Koula, overwhelmed by debt and a failing day-trading career, shot his parents to claim a substantial inheritance. He deposited a forged $50,000 check drawn from their account the day after the killings, and then lied and planted false evidence to divert investigators.
His defense team argued that the Koulas were the unintended victims of a hit man.
Prosecutors argued Koula shot his mother at 5:41 p.m. May 21, the time of her last recorded keystroke discovered during an examination of her computer by La Crosse police Sgt. Mike Blokhuis, and his father about 20 minutes later during a time during which their son was unaccounted for.
Koula called Blokhuis’ analysis and opinion “fatally flawed” and faults his attorneys for failing to challenge the findings.
“Had the defense been able to discredit Blokhuis’ analysis and opinion at trial, the state’s case against Koula would have essentially collapsed,” according to the appeal.
Koula also argues that his attorneys presented a “half-hearted” defense against his financial incentive to kill.
Koula, who represents himself, raised the same issues in a motion for a new trial last year. Circuit Judge Scott Horne denied him a new trial.
The former West Salem man argued in his first appeal that his trial attorneys failed him with a faulty jury instruction, and that the judge erred when he allowed testimony that supported motive and excluded evidence that supported his innocence. A state appellate court in October 2015 rejected his appeal and the state Supreme Court later declined to review the case.
Xavier Adams, 21, of 1607 Loomis St., was charged July 31 with possession of meth and THC as party to the crime. Police found meth and marijuana in a vehicle Adams was riding in on July 14, according to the complaint.
Dennis Walden, 53, of 1803 S. 19th St., was charged July 31 with possession of meth and THC as party to the crime and possession of cocaine and an illegally obtained prescription. Police found meth and marijuana in Walden's car and prescription pills and cocaine in his pants on July 14, according to the complaint.
Deandre Clemons, 19, of 1428 Kane St., was charged July 31 with felony bail jumping and possession of THC. Clemons violated his bond July 21 by having marijuana, according to the complaint.
Heavell Basley, 18, of 1022 S. Fifth Ave., was charged July 31 with four counts of felony bail jumping and obstructing officers. Basley violated conditions of his electronic monitoring and ran from officers on Thursday, according to the complaint.
Kyle Olson, 32, of 4109 Hwy. B, was charged July 23 with failing to register on the sex offender registry and three counts of possession of child pornography. Olson had sexually graphic images of children on his computer on July 18, according to the complaint.
Robert Patterson, 19, of 944 Cameron Ave., was charged July 20 with felony bail jumping and misdemeanor theft. Patterson violated his bond May 23 by stealing a bike, according to the complaint.
Ashley Rockwell, 22, of Onalaska, was charged July 20 with party to the crime possession with intent to deliver heroin, possession of THC and misdemeanor bail jumping. Police found 14 grams of heroin inside her car on Wednesday, according to the complaint.
Eric Siddiqi, 33, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was charged July 18 with substantial battery and disorderly conduct. Siddiqi punched a man in the face on May 20, according to the complaint.
Michael J. Hoffmann
Christopher Johnson, 33, of 223 N. Eighth St., was charged July 5 with felony bail jumping and misdemeanor retail theft. Johnson violated his bond June 25 by stealing from Duluth Trading Company, according to the complaint.
Julie Bashaw, 50, of 1413 Avon St., was charged July 3 with fourth-offense operating while intoxicated and restricted controlled substance in blood. Bashaw drove Feb. 21 under the influence of meth, according to the complaint.