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A La Crosse courtroom hears from the defendant in the Petras murder case...on video.
On Thursday, the jury viewed a videotaped conversation between a state agent and suspect Jeff Lepsch, who's accused of killing Paul and A.J. Petras last fall at May's Photo in La Crosse. Lepsch was arrested within hours of the recording. On the video, Lepsch asks the agent why investigators waited a month after the murders to accuse him of being involved. Despite Lepsch's denial of having ever been to the camera shop, the agent suggested that they had security video of him coming and going from the crime scene. Defense attorneys wonder whether the agent was lying to get Lepsch to talk.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) Sheriff's deputies in Eau Claire County say they interviewed a woman the Wisconsin State Patrol said was held against her will and determined she had not been abducted.
The sheriff's department was notified by the State Patrol Tuesday afternoon that troopers were trying to find a woman that had contacted authorities for help. Deputies found the 19-year-old Whitehall woman locked in the bathroom of a gas station near Eau Claire. They interviewed her and a 32-year-old Edina, Minn., who had picked her up. Authorities say the two met online and were headed for the Mall of America.
The man changed those plans and began caressing the woman. She told him she need to use a restroom and then called for help. The man was cited for disorderly conduct.
A La Crosse woman who supplied heroin to a man who died of an overdose is convicted of reckless homicide in Trempealeau County. Thirty-two-year-old Jeremiah Harris died in July 2011 outside the Trempealeau Fire Department after paramedics worked to revive him. Twenty-seven-year-old Tahsa Kempfer pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree reckless homicide in court Wednesday.
Kempfer's mother, 45-year-old Michelle Johnson, was earlier sentenced to five years of probation after pleading guilty to conspiring to deliver heroin. She accompanied her daughter and Harris to Madison when Kempfer bought the heroin that killed Harris.
Kempfer is also facing charges in La Crosse County, where she's accused of selling heroin to police informants.
2 arrests made Tuesday after La Crosse Police bust a meth lab in a local hotel. La Crosse Police went to to the America’s Best Value Inn on Rose Street to investigate an anonymous complaint of a possible meth lab inside one of the hotel rooms.
Specially trained officers of the La Crosse Police Department, the State Department of Criminal Investigation and the La Crosse Sheriff’s Department made contact with people in the room and did locate a meth lab. Police busted 37 year old Laura Rud of La Crosse and 27 yeaar old Brian Brainard of Lansing, Iowa. Charges include Manufacturing Meth, Possessing Meth materials and possession of a switch blade.
Due to the extreme hazards associated with handling the chemicals used in the production of meth, a specially trained team from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration out of Chicago responded to La Crosse to collect the chemicals and render them safe.
Somebody killed two people at a La Crosse camera shop...but Jeff Lepsch didn't do it.
That's the defense argument being made today, at the start of Lepsch's trial for the shooting deaths of Paul and A.J. Petras of La Crosse. Defense attorney Vincent Rust says police didn't find anything at Lepsch's home which would prove he was connected to the murders. Rust says Lepsch was always looking for photo equipment to sell, but he never tried looking at May's Photo, where the murders occurred. Prosecutors say stolen goods from the store were found at Lepsch's home.