Minn. man to stand trial for murder of father, son in La Crosse - New York News

Minnesota man to stand trial for murder of father, son in La Crosse, Wis.

Posted: Updated:
LA CROSSE, Wis. (KMSP) -

A judge in La Crosse, Wis., is sending a Minnesota man to trial for the brutal killings of a father and son in their photography store.

On Thursday, the district attorney laid out a detailed investigation against Jeffrey Lepsch that included surveillance video, cell phone tracking, and ultimately stolen cameras found in his Dakota, Minn., home.

Lepsch shuffled into court as a still-innocent man, but one with mounting evidence stacked against him. He's charged with armed robbery and two counts of murder, accused of killing Paul Petras and his 17-year-old son, A.J., as they were closing up their downtown La Crosse camera store on Sept. 15.

Investigators testified that in addition to finding both father and son shot in the head, cameras were stolen.

"Just upon looking at it, you could tell the display cases had been virtually cleaned out," said Sgt. Jake Jansky.

Surveillance videos from roughly 150 cameras in downtown La Crosse pinpointed a Dodge minivan with an upside-down trailer hitch. DMV records helped detectives locate such a van at Lepsch's house in Dakota, where police found plenty of evidence.

"We collected approximately 15 stolen items that we were sure that were stolen from May's Photo," said Sgt. Patrick Marco, itemizing the cameras, lenses and other accessories found by detectives.

Judge Ramona Gonzalez found enough evidence for a trial and on behalf of Lepsch, entered a plea of not-guilty.

The Petras family was not in court Thursday, but one of Paul's close friends was on hand.

"Every act was just stupid and senseless, and I am angry," said John Brickman.

Lepsch never uttered a word in court, and never acknowledged the court gallery -- or even his wife, who was sitting behind him. His next hearing is scheduled within the next 30 days.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • 2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:14:05 GMT
    One of the two deputy U.S. marshals shot in the West Village was released from the hospital on Tuesday. The marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with fugitive sexual assault suspect Charles Richard Mozdir, officials said. The shootout happened in a smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street. Mozdir was killed.
    One of the two deputy U.S. marshals shot in the West Village was released from the hospital on Tuesday. The marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with fugitive sexual assault suspect Charles Richard Mozdir, officials said. The shootout happened in a smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street. Mozdir was killed.
  • Queens teen pleads guilty in crash that killed 4 friends on Long Island

    Queens teen pleads guilty in crash that killed 4 friends on Long Island

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:54 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:54:40 GMT
    A New York teenager has pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide in a 2012 high-speed crash that killed four of his friends and split his new car in two. Joseph Beer entered the plea Tuesday. He faces five to 15 years in prison, though his attorney is seeking youthful offender status because he was 17 at the time.
    A New York teenager has pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide in a 2012 high-speed crash that killed four of his friends and split his new car in two. Joseph Beer entered the plea Tuesday. He faces five to 15 years in prison, though his attorney is seeking youthful offender status because he was 17 at the time.
  • Scenes for "Girls" to be shot at SUNY New Paltz

    Scenes for "Girls" to be shot at SUNY New Paltz

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:51 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:51:27 GMT
    Some scenes for the HBO series "Girls" will be shot at the State University of New York at New Paltz.  The series star and creator Lena Dunham will reportedly be directing scenes Tuesday afternoon on the campus 75 miles north of New York City.
    Some scenes for the HBO series "Girls" will be shot at the State University of New York at New Paltz.  The series star and creator Lena Dunham will reportedly be directing scenes Tuesday afternoon on the campus 75 miles north of New York City.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices