A SPOKANE JURY HEARD LONG-AWAITED OPENING STATEMENTS
TODAY IN THE TRIAL OF GAIL GERLACH.
HE'S SUSPECTED OF SHOOTING 25 YEAR OLD BRENDON KAULUZA
GRAHAM LAST YEAR.
AS DROVE AWAY IN GERLACH'S STOLEN SUV.
KXLY4'S JEFF HUMPHREY JOINS US WITH GERLACH'S 9-1-1
ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE DEADLY ENCOUNTER.
AND TONIGHT WE ARE HEARING FOR THE FIRST TIME EXACTLY
WHAT GERLACH TOLD DISPATCHERS IN THE MOMENTS AFTER
MOST SIGNIFICANTLY, THAT GERLACH THOUGHT THE CAR THEFT
SUSPECT HAD REACHED FOR A WEAPON AND IT WAS GERLACH
WHO WORRIED HE WAS ABOUT TO GET SHOT.
RICHARD LEE/DEFENSE ATTORNEY 32;09 members of the
jury, this case has a theme.
and the theme of this case is the sight of fear.
GAIL GERLACH'S DEFENSE TEAM WASTED LITTLE TIME TELLING
THE JURY THEIR CLIENT WAS ACTING OUT OF FEAR THE DAY
HE SHOT BRENDON KALUZA GRAHAM.
NOT FEAR OF LOSING HIS CHEVY SUBURBAN.
FEAR ABOUT THE SUSPECT WOULD DO NEXT AFTER GERLACH
CONFRONTED THE THIEF IN HIS DRIVEWAY.
RICHARD LEE/DEFENSE ATTORNEY 37;05 he's not caring
about the s-u-v any more.
he sees something far more important that.
he sees this.
he see's this 37;14
GERLACH SAYS HE FELT THE SUSPECT WAS NOW POINTING
A GUN AT HIM AND THAT GERLACH WAS ABOUT TO GET SHOT.
A CLAIM HE FIRST MADE TO 9-1-1 DISPATCHERS AFTER KALUZA
GRAHAM HAD CRASHED THE STOLEN CHEVY.
911 RECORDING 57;50 DISP: O-K Where did the vehicle
G Gerlach: Couple blocks south of my house here.
On Lee street? I don't know where he went.
I don't know if he's still going or what.
He leaned back, he pointed at me.
I don't know what he pointed but he scared the s#$t
out of me.
HOWEVER PROSECUTORS SAY GERLACH COULD HAVE NOT SEEN
KALUZA GRAHAM POINT ANYTHING BECAUSE HE WAS ALREADY
DRIVING AWAY THE ROAD AND OBSCURED BY HEAVILY TINTED
DEPUTY PROSECUTOR DERIC MARTIN 22;46 as he's going
down the street approximately 60 feet away mr gerlach
came out to the edge of his driveway racked the slide
on his nine millimeter semi-automatic handgun and
fired a single shot after the car 23;01
PROSECUTORS PLAN TO SHOW THE JURY THAT SINGLE SHOT
PASSED THROUGH THE REAR WINDOW OF THE S-U-V AND THAT
KALUZA-GRAHAM WAS NO LONGER A THREAT TO GERLACH.
DERIC MARTIN/DEPUTY PROSECUTOR 28;59 and you'll see
that mister kaluza-graham was not turned facing mister
gerlach as mister gerlach described but was in fact
shot directly in the back of the head as he was facing
forward directly through the back of that seat 29;14
THE DEPUTY PROSECUTOR WENT ON TO SAY WE'RE LUCKY NO
BODY ELSE WAS HURT THAT MORNING EITHER BUT GERLACH'S
BULLET OR HIS NOW OUT OF CONTROL SUBURBAN.
THE DEFENSE SAYS MISTER GERLACH IS THE REAL VICTIM
IN THIS CASE.
DO PROSECUTORS HAVE TO PROVE GERLACH INTENTIONALLY
KILLED KALUZA -GRAHAM?
IF THEY WERE IN A POSITION TO DO THAT PROSECUTORS
WOULD HAVE CHARGED HIM WITH MURDER.
GERLACH'S CHARGED WITH MANSLUGHTER AND SO PROSECUTORS
ONLY HAVE TO PROVE THAT HIS RECKLESS ACTIONS CAUSED
THE DEATH OF ANOTHER.
IF THEY ARE SUCCESSFUL, IT COULD SEND MR GERLACH TO
PRISON FOR UP TO TEN YEARS.