Wednesday - December 6, 2017 8:48 am

A western Wisconsin murder trial gets national attention, 5 years ago

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The biggest court case of 2012 in La Crosse County was the double murder trial of Eric Koula.  That June, a jury found Koula guilty of shooting his parents, Dennis and Merna Koula, for their inheritance after racking up large debts through internet stock trading.  Defense lawyers proposed a theory that the Koulas were victims of mistaken identity, shot by a hitman looking for a different house in Barre Mills.  CBS News built an episode of "48 Hours" around the Koula case.  In 2017, Eric Koula's latest attempt at a new trial was turned down by a local judge.
 
Four new murders occurred in La Crosse that same year.  One woman was found strangled in a parking lot, in a drug-related case.  A college student was shot on her living room couch by a burglar looking for money.  And a robber shot and killed a camera store owner and his 19-year-old son, inside the store on a Saturday afternoon.  Shortly after that double slaying, Ron Tischer was sworn in as La Crosse's new police chief, succeeding retired chief Ed Kondracki.
 
There was a downtown closing that Christmas, when the La Crosse Community Theatre ended a 44-year run on 5th Avenue, in what is now the Cavalier Theatre.  LCT relocated to the Weber Center after a holiday production of "A Christmas Story."  Five years ago, 2012, yesterday in La Crosse.
 

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Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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