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Monday, March 1, 2021

As Sackett trial continues, a look at DA Tim Gruenke's homicide trial experience

Credit: WKBT
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As Sackett trial continues, a look at DA Tim Gruenke's homicide trial experience
As Sackett trial continues, a look at DA Tim Gruenke's homicide trial experience

The state has rested in the homicide trial of Eric Sackett, who is accused of killing his former girlfriend Erin Somvilai. Homicide cases are not necessarily uncommon in La Crosse County, but it's pretty rare that they head to trial.

District Attorney Tim Gruenke has represented the state in six homicide trials during his tenure, according to court records.

I'm alec giannakopoulos.

The state has rested in the homicide trial of eric sackett... who is accused of killing his former girlfriend erin somvilai.

Homicide cases are not necesarily uncommon in la crosse county... but it's pretty rare that they head to trial.

District attorney tim gruenke has represented the state in six homicide trials during his tenure... as news 8's mal meyer reports.

It was tim gruenke's first homicide case to go to trial at the la crosse county courthouse since taking the d-a position.

Nov 2007 irvin ramirez stood accused of 1st degree intentional homicide, attempted 2nd degree sexual assault and robbery.

Da: "his story didn't explain her fingerprints in his car, on the inside of the windo.

Didn't explain the blood on the blue jeans."

Ramirez was found guilty on two of the three counts.

He is serving a life sentence.

Family: "not only did he take her life, but in such a brutal way."

June 2012 then there was eric koula... judge: "bring in the jury please" the west salem man who adimmately denied his involvement in the shooting death of his parents... and claimed it was the work of a professional.

Da: "it's been an exausting process and the family is very grateful to have it concluded.

In september of 2012, gruenke also secured a conviction for izelia golatt... who was accused of killing a la crosse woman.

Witness: "i believe kristen rogers was manually strangled."

Jurors deliberated for less than three hours before finding him guilty.

July 2013 the d-a also prosecuted the case of jeffrey lepsch... who was accused of killing paul and a.j.

Petras at may's photo in downtown la crosse.

He was found guilty of armed robbery, possion of a firearm as a felon and two counts of first degree intentional homicide.

Da: "mr. lepsch chose to commit murder, to rob people, to get camera equipment to sell it."

Dec 2016 but it would be three years before his next homicide trial, according to court records.

Haron joyner was convicted of stabbing his wife to death in front of five children.

Dec 2017 gruenke's last homicide to go to trial was the case of todd kenhammer.

The west salem man claimed a pipe fell off a truck and went into his car, causing his wife's death.

Da: "we were just trying to find the truth for barbara."

After about 9 hours of deliberations, the jury found him guilty.

He continues to maintain his innocence.

In la crosse, mal meyer, news 8.

Video from this week's testimony can be found on our w-k-b-t news 8000 facebook page.

You can see recaps of each day on our website... that's news 8000 dot

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