October 21, 2014

Life sentence for man who killed parents

A La Crosse County man convicted of killing his parents for their money will spend the rest of his life in prison. Eric Koula of West Salem was given two life terms plus six years behind bars Wednesday. A jury convicted the 42-year-old Koula in late June, for the 2010 shooting deaths of Dennis and Merna Koula at their home in the La Crosse County town of Barre. He was also found guilty of forging a $50 thousand dollar check from his parents’ investment account.

Circuit Judge Scott Horne refused to allow a supervised release at some point in the future. Investigators said Koula was a struggling day-trader who shot his mother at her home computer, then waited for his father to walk in the room before shooting him. Koula admitted at trial to planting false evidence in an effort to throw police off. But he denied shooting his parents – and maintained his innocence at his sentencing hearing. “The person who did this is still out there,” he said.

Koula went into stock-trading after his parents sold their La Crosse area car dealership, and he lost thousands of dollars his parents had given him from that sale.