Wisconsin News

Threats made against Koulas' neighbor before murders

VLA CROSSE, Wis.-- The professional killer theory continued to dominate testimony Thursday in the Eric Koula double murder trial. Koula is accused of shooting and killing his parents in their Barre Mills home in 2010.

The defense called one of Dennis and Merna Koula's neighbors to the stand Thursday who says he had been receiving threats over the phone in the months leading up to their murders.

The defense argues the Koulas' deaths may have been a professional hit on the wrong family.

Defense attorney: "Did you receive threats that 'your days are numbered?'"
Koulas' neighbor Steve Burgess: "Yes."
Defense attorney: "Did you receive threats that 'you'll be reduced to ashes?'"
Burgess: "Yes."


Defense Attorney: "And did you receive threats that 'you're toast?'"
Burgess: "Yes, that's I think, all of them."

Burgess says he received the last threat the day before Dennis and Merna Koula were killed.

Thursday afternoon, the D.A. called a former FBI agent to the stand who says he's never heard of a professional hitman getting the wrong house. The case is expected to go to the jury next week.

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