Judge extends Jeffrey Lepsch’s motion for retrial

Judge expected to make final decision about retrial Oct. 10

The man convicted of killing a father and son at their downtown La Crosse photo shop was in court on Thursday asking for a new trial, but the judge ruled to extend the motion.

Jeffrey Lepsch of Dakota, Minnesota, is currently serving two life sentences for the murders of Paul Petras and his son AJ at May’s Photo two years ago.

Lepsch was sentenced in September 2013 and is now claiming his previous lawyers were ineffective when it came to removing potentially biased jurors.

Last month, Lepsch’s new defense attorney filed a motion for a retrial which was held at the La Crosse County Courthouse on Thursday.

But during the motion, Lepsch’s former defense attorney, Vincent Rust, made it clear he thought the jury was unbiased at the start of the trial.

“Is it fair to say at the time you probably thought they were good jurors for you, in a sense that they were objective, they weren’t biased? You were convince by the words and non-verbals that you were satisfied with their ability to sit as a juror?” said Tim Gruenke, La Crosse County district attorney.

“Yes,” said Rust.

After about an hour and a half of listening to both sides, La Crosse County Circuit Court Judge Ramona Gonzalez has decided to extend the motion until Oct. 10.             

At that time, she will review the transcripts and records and then make a decision about whether or not to grant Lepsch a new trial. If Gonzalez denies a re-trial, it will then go to the Court of Appeals.

However, now Lepsch is claiming his previous lawyers