Gerlach manslaughter trial starts Monday

Gerlach manslaughter trial starts Monday

SPOKANE, Wash. - The manslaughter trial of Gail Gerlach, the Spokane man accused of shooting and killing a thief stealing his SUV, will start on Monday.

The judge will hear motions on what the jury will hear. Prosecutors are trying to keep a self-defense expert from testifying that Gerlach's actions were justified. The defense wants the court permission to take the just to the shooting seen and have a chance to inspect the SUV that was stolen.

Gerlach was taking his wife to work when he came outside to find 25 year-old Brendan Kaluza-Graham backing out of the driveway in his SUV. Gerlach said he felt threatened and thought he saw Kaluza-Graham raise a gun. After searching the vehicle police found no gun.

"When it rises to deadly force, when there's a gun involved, you have to feel like you are in imminent danger of being substantially injured, or someone else is in danger, that danger has to be imminent, it has to be now and then deadly force is allowed. Until then, deadly force is not allowed," said Steve Tucker, Spokane County Prosecutor.

Prosecutors charged Gerlach with First Degree Manslaughter. He faces up to ten years in prison.