State rests case after calling rebuttal witnesses in Erik Sackett homicide trial

Local News

The Prosecution called five rebuttal witnesses to the stand Wednesday morning in the Erik Sackett homicide trial.

Sackett is accused of killing Erin Somvilai in June of 2018. The Defense has been arguing that Somvilai may have taken her own life.

Somvilai was found in a Vernon County lake that is close to a cabin owned by Sackett’s family.

Sackett testified on Monday that Somvilai frequented the cabin and was upset in June when she discovered it was for sale. However, the Prosecution argued that she would have already known the cabin was for sale at that point.

“The listing contract was signed on March 26th of 2018 and the listing contract was dated for April 2nd of 2018,” said Cory Meinking, the realtor.
“And were there signs placed at that property subsequently to that listing?,” asked assistant district attorney Susan Donskey.
“There were,” Meinking answered.
“What date were those signs placed?,” Donskey questioned.
“The signs were placed on April 2nd of 2018,” Meinking said.

The Defense asked Meinking about how visible that sign would have been with the landscaping of the property.

“Do you agree that the area itself is heavily wooded?,” asked defense attorney Chris Zachar.
“Yes,” Meinking said,
“And that there are, in addition to trees, lots and lots of plants, weeds, and other foliage that grow up?,” Zachar questioned.
“Yes, there were,” Meinking answered.

During Sackett’s testimony on Monday, he said when Somvilai visited him the morning of June 3, she was “messed up” and had been drinking.

The Prosecution asked the investigator who reviewed surveillance footage, if Somvilai had purchased any alcohol prior to going to Sackett’s residence.

“And have you reviewed her purchases at Kwik trip?,” Donskey asked.
“Yes,” said investigator Brooke Pataska of the La Crosse Police Department.
“And was any alcohol purchased?,” Donskey questioned.
“No,” Pataska said.
“What was purchased?,” Donskey asked.
“It was coffee and donuts,” Pataska answered.

However, the Defense argued that there are other ways to get alcohol.

“Alcohol can be purchased with cash, with credit right?,” Zachar asked.
“Correct,” Pataska said.
“Alcohol can be given to somebody?,” Zachar questioned.
“Correct,” Pataska answered.
“Alcohol can already be purchased or already present in somebody’s home, vehicle or other property, right?,” Zachar asked.
“Correct,” Pataska said.

The State rested its case after hearing from all five rebuttal witnesses.

Closing arguments will start Thursday morning with the jury entering deliberation after.


More on the Erik Sackett trial:
Sackett trial begins
Homicide trial continues in La Crosse 
Prosecution rests case
Sackett testifies
State rests case

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