JANESVILLE, Wis. (WTAQ) - A defense lawyer told a jury in Janesville Tuesday that his client did not kill 3 family members in a mobile home. 50-year-old James Koepp started going on trial in Rock County on charges that he stabbed and strangled 38-year-old Danyetta Lentz, her 17-year-old daughter Nicole, and her 14-year-old son Scott. Their bodies were found in their blood-stained home in mid-January of 2007. District Attorney David O’Leary told jurors in his opening statement that Koepp lied to detectives – and his DNA was found on a bloody tie in the mobile home’s garage.
But defense attorney Walter Issacson said somebody else broke into the mobile home, and another person’s DNA was on the woman’s scarf. Issacson said Koepp had sex with Lentz about a month before the slayings – and he went to see her the night of the murders to apologize for avoiding her, but he left before the murders began. The first testimony is being heard Tuesday afternoon. Koepp’s trial is expected to last 2 weeks on 3 counts of first-degree intentional homicide.