Koula attorneys file motion challenging homicide conviction

Koula found guilty of killing Dennis and Merna in May 2010

Attorneys for Eric Koula are appealing the homicide conviction handed down last year.

On June 27, 2012, a jury found Koula guilty of killing his parents, Dennis and Merna, at their home in the Town of Barre in May 2010.

A La Crosse County judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole on August 15, 2012. 

State public defenders working for Koula filed a post-conviction motion on Monday, which challenges the ruling. They claim the trial judge improperly disallowed some evidence and that jurors heard unclear instructions regarding testimony made outside the courtroom. 

Prosecutors argued at Koula’s trial that his deep debt and floundering day trading career drove him to kill his parents for the inheritance. Testimony made by coworkers of Dennis Koula suggested he was planning on financially cutting off Eric – those statements are some that public defenders are now questioning as hearsay evidence. 

According to Susan Aleshia, a public defender representing Koula, the case for a re-trial is a strong one.



“Usually you have physical evidence, or you have a confession, and we have none of that here,” Aleshia said. “We do feel strongly about [the case].” 

Aleshia said Koula has been on board with all legal avenues his attorneys were pursuing, and he supports the motion. She added Koula is “doing the best he can” to cope with the situation. 

A judge has 60 days to respond to the post-conviction motion, at which point a hearing would be called to determine whether Koula would receive a re-trial, according to Aleshia. 

Some of Eric’s family members  responding to the motion Tuesday. His uncle, Leroy Koula, testified against him during trial and said Tuesday he has no doubt Eric is guilty.