Erik Sackett stands trial in La Crosse County, Wisconsin for first-degree intentional homicide over the death of his ex-girlfriend Erin Somvilai. Did he kill her, or was the victim’s passing due to suicide?
Prosecutors say that the defendant killed her at her home, and dumped her body in a Vernon County Lake. She was tied to two concrete blocks, authorities said.
The defense is attempting to present alternate theories to explain her death. For one, they are suggesting the possibility that another man–a doctor who had a sexual relationship with Somvilai–might have done it. Also, they are claiming she might have taken her own life. Defense lawyer Chris Zachar has pointed out during cross-examination that Somvilai’s arms were unbound, according to The La Cross Tribune. He suggested that she might have stepped off a dock into the water, which was 10 feet deep.
Sackett’s defense also brought up that Somvilai displayed suicidal behavior amid relationship problems with the defendant. For example, she sent him a picture of her cuts, discussed suicide, and talked about people going to her funeral, according to testimony.
Erin Somvilai’s life was in chaos the week prior to her death, according to Tuesday’s opening statements of both La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke and defense attorney Chris Zachar. https://t.co/rqxixMxJa5
— Chris Juzwik (@juz44) October 23, 2019
Prosecutors said, however, that Sackett lied to investigators regarding his whereabouts the day she died.
Dr. Ross Reichard, a pathologist, testified Wednesday of examining the victim’s body, according to WXOW. He determined bashed on the lack of a “vital reaction” to the ropes and chains, she had been bound her after death. In other words, he found no injuries because she had already been dead when tied to the concrete.
[Sackett in August via WXOW]