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May trial set for man in double homicide

Published On: Jan 20 2013 12:20:00 PM CST
Jeffrey Lepsch
MADISON, Wis. -

A Minnesota man accused of killing a La Crosse photography store owner and his son is set to stand trial in May.

Investigators said Jeffrey Lepsch of Dakota killed Paul Petras and Petras' son, A.J., at May's Photo in downtown La Crosse last September. They said they recovered multiple items from the store at Lepsch's house during an October search.

Lepsch faces two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of armed robbery and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He has denied involvement in the deaths.

La Crosse County Circuit Judge Ramona Gonzalez has scheduled jury selection for May 3. The trial is scheduled to begin on May 6.

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  • PHOTOS: Madison store helps collect hundreds of Teddy bears for police

    MADISON, Wis.--A west Madison store is part of an effort to collect hundreds of stuffed animals to donate to six police departments in Southern Wisconsin.

    Todd Merryfield, owner of The Learning Shop at 714 S. Gammon Road, said the store is collecting the bears for officers who use them to help comfort children with whom police come in contact.

    "This is a great way to support what (police) do," Merryfield said. "Those are the kids that need something like this to reassure them, calm them down, and let them know that things are all right."

    Nearly 500 plush animals were donated Tuesday, a Learning Shop spokeswoman said. The Madison store's effort is part of a larger initiative through the Bears for Humanity organization. 

    Photos by Doug Wahl

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