Featured Case #43
Eric was convicted in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, after a trial based entirely on circumstantial evidence. Eric was a stable, hard-working father and husband who was very close to his parents. When his mother, Merna, did not show up for work one Monday, Eric tried unsuccessfully to reach them, then drove to their house and found them both dead. It appeared as though it was the work of professionals and that there may have been crime scene staging.
Investigators found DNA at the scene that was not Eric’s DNA and remains unidentified. Nothing at the crime scene tied Eric to the murders. The murder weapon was never forensically identified. There was no evidence of the crime found on Eric’s person, in his truck or at his home. Digital forensic evidence was improperly presented at trial as documented by trial transcripts. A neighbor testified that he had seen the couple alive in their backyard talking with two unidentified people hours after Eric was supposed to have already killed them. The judge in the case restricted the defense attorney from presenting alternative suspects. The jury convicted Eric on the basis of two incidents, both of which can be explained by past precedents and emotional reaction to his parents’ murder.