Open statements got underway this morning in the trial of 16-year-old Eric Hainstock, who is accused of fatally shooting Weston School Principal John Klang last fall.

Sauk County DA Pat Barrett told the jury that Hainstock had a history of acting up at school, including an incident just days before the shooting where he threw a stapler at a teacher. Barrett says Hainstock threw the stapler so hard, it broke into pieces when it hit a wall. She attempted to paint a picture of Hainstock as a troubled, but violent child.

She also detailed how Hainstock gathered up guns on the day of the shooting, breaking into a cabinet and locked room at home to get weapons and ammunition. Barret also described the shooting of Klang to the jury, and how Hainstock told police afterwards that he intentionally fired the weapon three times.

However, Defense Attorney Rhoda Ricciardi told jurors about Hainstock's history of abuse at the hands of students and his family, which included being called a "fag" at school. She says that touched off a history of sexual abuse at the hands of his older step-brother.

Ricciardi described Hainstock as a lonely and isolated boy who brought guns to school not to hurt anybody, but to bring attention to his problems. She says the case is about a troubled boy from a troubled home who found nothing but trouble when he went to school.

Testimony in the trial continues today. 

Audio courtesy of WMTV-TV Madison.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (MP3 1:00)

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