Centre County’s first murder trial in years started Monday as District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller and defense attorney Karen Muir presented their opening arguments to jury members.
Alois Kudlach, 51, is accused of killing his wife, Nuria, on the morning of Aug. 30, 2015 with a handgun. Kudlach has claimed the shooting was in self defense.
Kudlach is charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, aggravated assault, intercepting communications for secretly recording his wife and possession of a weapon.
Opening arguments began after Judge Jonathan Grine instructed the jury on its duties.
Parks Miller opened, explaining the forensics of the shooting to the jury — how Nuria was shot three times as she moved across the kitchen with the third and final shot finally ending her life.
Parks Miller also detailed the lives of the Kudlachs, describing them as a “dysfunctional” family and the days of arguments that led to the fatal day. She also detailed Kudlach’s story of how his fear of a potential knife attack by his wife led to the shooting.
“This is a case of staged self-defense that failed miserably,” Parks Miller said.
Muir presented a photo of the Kudlachs’ home, noting that while it was picturesque on the outside, “you never know what goes on behind closed doors.”
Jurors would only be learning of a snippet of the Kudlachs’ life, she said, and while the police say they know what happened, they could also be wrong.
“Police could be wrong,” Muir said. “We know this because you are here. If the police and the district attorney were right all the time, we would have no need for a trial.”
Muir urged the jury to “walk a mile” in Kudlach’s shoes, after which, they would see that the killing was justified.
The trial is scheduled for five days.
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