Trial Beginning In Spokane Stolen Car Shooting - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Trial Beginning In Spokane Stolen Car Shooting

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Gail Gerlach's trial is scheduled to begin on Monday morning. Gail Gerlach's trial is scheduled to begin on Monday morning.
SPOKANE, Wash. - The trial is beginning this week in Spokane for a man accused of killing a man who was taking his SUV.
   
Gail Gerlach is charged with manslaughter in the March 2013 shooting of 25-year-old Brendan Kaluza-Graham.
   
Gerlach says he fired when he thought he saw a gun. Police found no gun in the vehicle. Prosecutors say the shooting was not justified because there was no imminent threat.
   
The judge will hear motions Monday on whether the jury will hear from a self-defense expert. The defense wants to take the jury to the shooting scene and inspect the SUV.

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On Friday afternoon Gail Gerlach and his attorneys were in court ahead of the start of Gerlach's manslaughter trial, which is set for Monday. Earlier in the week, prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss one of the defense's expert witnesses.

Prosecutors argued that his testimony could potentially taint the jurors. Judge Plese ruled against the motion, saying the defense had every right to call the witness to the stand. But he made it clear that prosecutors also had every right to object to what that witness said on the stand.

During the same Pre-Trial Conference, Judge Plese denied a request from the defense to push back the start of the trial. That means, Gerlach's manslaughter trial will begin with jury selection on Monday.

Gerlach is being charged with manslaughter for the shooting death of Brandon Kaluza-Graham. Police say Kaluza-Graham was stealing Gerlach's SUV as it was warming up outside of Gerlach's home. Gerlach fired one shot at his own SUV as it was driving away. That shot went straight into Kaluza-Graham's head and killed him.

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