A jury has found Eric Koula guilty of murdering his parents inside their town of Barre house in 2010.
Koula, 42, faces a minimum of 40 years in prison when sentenced Aug. 24. He also was convicted of forging a $50,000 check from his parents’ investment account.
His was among the lengthiest trials in La Crosse County Circuit Court, where prosecutors said the struggling West Salem day trader shot Dennis and Merna Koula on May 21 for the inheritance. His attorneys blamed a professional killer who hit the wrong house.
Jurors were in their third day of deliberations before reaching a verdict this afternoon.
They found that Koula executed his mother at her home office computer, and then waited about 15 minutes for his father and shot him as he walked in the door.
Koula claimed he was grouting a bathroom and shopping for his wife’s anniversary present at the time. But a surveillance video outside the North Side Shopko didn’t support his alibi.
He confessed to jurors he signed the $50,000 check but said he had his father’s authorization to do so. He also admitted to fabricating a threatening note that claimed to frame him for the homicides because he was upset investigators had questioned his son in the case.
See Thursday's Tribune or www.lacrossetribune.com for more on this story.