Gerlach scores legal victory ahead of manslaughter trial

Gerlach scores legal victory ahead of manslaughter trial

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gail Gerlach, the Spokane man accused of shooting car thief Brandon Kaluza-Graham to death last March 25, scored a major legal victory in court Friday ahead of his manslaughter trial.

Late Friday afternoon, a judge ruled some of the statements Gerlach made to police at the scene are not admissible as evidence.

Gerlach was voluntarily talking with police until one of the officers told Gerlach he should get an attorney. Gerlach responded by saying lawyers are too expensive.

Gerlach's defense team is saying that's when police should have told him he had the right to free legal representation and on Friday a judge agreed, blocking anything Gerlach said after the attorney issue came up.

Also Friday it was revealed in court that Gerlach told a detective he had regrets about the shooting.

"And he made a couple of statements. He said 'I wish I could live it over again' and I asked him why? And he said "20-20 is hindsight' and he wishes he had left to take his wife to work five minutes earlier," Spokane Police Detective Ben Estes said.

On March 25, 2013, Brendon Kaluza-Graham attempted to steal Gerlach's SUV, which had been idling in his driveway. Gerlach fired a single shot at the SUV as Kaluza-Graham was driving away from his home. Kaluza-Graham was hit in the head and died nearly instantly.

Gerlach's manslaughter trial is expected to get underway in Spokane Superior Court late next month.