LA CROSSE, Wis. – A jury of 12 people decided Wednesday that Eric Koula is guilty of killing his parents.
The jury spent more than 20 hours discussing whether Eric Koula gunned down his parents, Dennis and Merna Koula, in their Barre Mills home in 2010.
Now that the nearly monthlong trial has come to an end, the jurors have some time to reflect on the experience.
One of those jurors, Dave Mydy, said when deliberations started, he had not formed his opinion yet.
Mydy said the tone of the jury's discussions was very level-headed, deliberate and calm. He said it was important to the members of the jury to stay focused on the facts of the case and not get caught up in the emotional nature of the crime.
“You almost feel like you've known Dennis and Merna Koula, and you see what happened to them. And, you know, it's a horrible thing. You see what the family had to go through. And you know, you definitely feel for them," said Mydy.
He said the jury's strategy was to sift through all the testimony to decide what information was important and what was not. The jurors went through all three weeks of witness testimony all over again.
Mydy said after that was done, the verdict was clear to him.
"I think it would have come out the same if you would have gotten 12 different jurors on the group,” said Mydy. “We considered every pertinent piece of evidence that we had, and we tried to do our best to evaluate everything and weight it and give Eric every benefit of the doubt, too.”
He said being on that jury is an experience he'll never forget. And one of his biggest takeaways from the trial is that “there's more to life than money.”
Sentencing for Eric Koula has been set for late August.
Koula’s defense attorneys are holding a press conference Thursday morning.