LA CROSSE, WI - During the afternoon session of the Jeffrey Lepsch trial, jurors watched about an hour-long video of investigators talking to Lepsch about a search warrant and how he obtained specific camera equipment.
Special Agent Vern Vandeberg with the Wisconsin Department of Justice Major Crimes Bureau is shown talking to Lepsch in a police car.
Vandeberg said he did a lot of research on Lepsch and said he's a pretty devoted family man and that he's been very cooperative in the past with police. Vandeberg is shown telling Lepsch "we have a search warrant for your house. What we learned is through a rather lengthy investigation, you may have ended up with stolen property."
"Can I get some more information because I don't know what's going on," Lepsch said on video.
Vandeberg told Lepsch that he may have ended up with camera equipment that may have been stolen. "My main concern is simply getting the property back," Vandeberg said.21171252
Lepsch told investigators he was confused about all of this. Later, on video, Lepsch told investigators he bought some of the camera equipment in question from Craigslist and Amazon.com.
When asked about where he was on September 15, Lepsch told investigators he was in La Crescent at his parents' house. He drove separate from his family because he said he had to fix a computer for a relative.
Vandeberg asked Lepsch on tape if he had ever been to May's Photo. Lepsch said he had never been there. Vandeberg told Lepsch he knew that wasn't true.
"I think what happened is not what you intended," Vandeberg told Lepsch.
The video ended in the courtroom before that conversation played out.
The defense asked to begin on Friday with Vandeberg on the witness stand. The judge excused the jury. The trial will begin on Friday morning at 8:30 a.m.
Defense attorney Vincent Rust said they are going much faster than they thought and now anticipate the trail wrapping up a few days earlier. The trial was expected to last about nine days.
PREVIOUS STORY (MORNING COURT SESSION):
Thursday marked the second day of testimony in the trail of the man accused of shooting and killing a father and son in their downtown La Crosse photo shop on September 15, 2012.
Jeffrey Lepsch has been charged with two counts of first-degree homicide, armed robbery and possession of a firearm. Lepschis accused of shooting Paul Petras and his son A.J. and then stole about $17,000 worth of camera equipment.
William Newhouse, of the State Crime Lab, was the first witness called to the stand Thursday morning. He said that he began working on the double homicide case evidence on September 16, 2012. Newhouse testified that the casings fired came from the same unknown gun. Newhouse said he never saw the gun and doesn't believe a gun was recovered.
Sergeant Matt Malott, an investigator with the La Crosse Police Department was the next to take the stand. Sgt. Malott was asked about the video surveillance police analyzed in this case. Sgt. Malott testified that he saw a subject on camera that "raised concern" based on the subject's clothing, time of day, and what the person was wearing and carrying. He said the person was wearing a sweatshirt with several horizontal stripes with a zipper in front.
"It was a fall day, relatively warm out," Sgt. Malott said. "At 2 p.m. there was a subject with a hood up carrying a bag and backpack and raised suspicion with me." The person on the video tape had their hood up. The video was in black and white.
Sgt. Malot was asked about a van that was shown on tape. He testified that he couldn't see the license plate number or what state the license plate had.
Sergeant Dan Kloss, of the La Crosse Police Department also testified. He executed the search warrant at Lepsch's home in Dakota, Minnesota. Sgt. Kloss said when he walked into the house, he noticed a foul odor inside and a messy area.
Upon searching the home, Sgt. Kloss said he found cameras at Lepsch's computer and bedroom that matched the serial numbers of the stolen items from May's Photo.
La Crosse police investigator Andrew Dittman also searched Lepsch's home. He testified he found items in Lepsch's safe that matched the serial numbers from items stolen from May's Photo. Those items included a camera lens.
The court took a lunch break and will reconvene at 1 p.m.
Stay with News 8 as this trial continues. The trial is expected to take nine days. You can watch the live streaming of the trial on www.news8000.com. Click on the "Watch Now: Lepsch Trial" banner.
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