Not guilty: Reaction to verdict in Erik Sackett homicide trial
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Christopher Zachar, Sackett’s defense attorney breathed a sigh of relief when the verdict was read.
“I’m happy that the trial is over, and believe that the jury made the right decision today.”
Throughout the trial, Zachar argued that the police investigation did not turn up strong enough evidence tying Sackett to the death of Erin Somvilai.
“Prove to me that this case is more than Mr. Sackett mixing things up, telling the occasional lie, and not telling the entire truth,” he told jurors Thursday.
Even though the prosecution pointed out that Somvilai’s body was found weighted down in a lake the two would visit together, the two weeks she went undiscovered in the lake made things much more difficult for the prosecution’s case.
“Decomposition made it harder to find a cause of death, and with that it’s harder to piece a case together.”
District Attorney Tim Gruenke knew this case would be difficult to prove with a lack of certain evidence.
“With the evidence we had we knew there were some things we couldn’t explain.”
Throughout the process though, Gruenke does not blame the police.
“I think the police did an extraordinary amount of work on the case and I know they put their hearts and souls into it.”
“I believe the police officers in this case are good people. They’re hardworking professionals and their intensions were honest they just made a human assumption,” said Zachar.
Zachar agrees the police aren’t at fault, but is happy he was able to help Sackett’s family. His father had this to say.
“It’s over and I have my son back. That’s all I can say.”
“They’re relieved they’re going to have Erik back,” added Zachar..
News 8 did attempt to contact Erin Somvilai’s family, and they declined to comment.
Erik Sackett is still in jail, as he is still serving time for violating his probation.
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