Crime

Kudlach witnesses include family friends and a county inmate

Police investigate the scene of the fatal shooting of Nuria Kudlach in August 2015.
Police investigate the scene of the fatal shooting of Nuria Kudlach in August 2015. Centre Daily Times, file

Day three of the Kudlach trial went into the early evening as prosecutors called witnesses ranging from family friends to financial advisers to a Centre County inmate.

Alois Kudlach is charged with first- and third-degree murder, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon and interference with communications stemming from the shooting death of his wife, Nuria, in August 2015.

State College police Officer Deirdri Houck testified Wednesday that she had interviewed both Kudlach and his son Alex, 20, after they were brought to the police station the day of the shooting.

According to Houck’s testimony, Kudlach’s retelling of the morning was inconsistent, saying the story varied from the shooting happening after his wife had a knife and was “coming at him,” to him shooting his wife as she initially went for the knife.

The District Attorney’s Office provided a recording of Houck and Detective Ralph Ralston questioning Kudlach a few hours after the shooting.

Houck also testified that, according to Kudlach, his wife had been facing him directly when she “came at him” with the knife.

Friends of Nuria Kudlach also took the stand, mainly describing her state of mind leading up to the shooting.

Teresa Mastovich, of Johnstown, said she last saw Nuria Kudlach in July 2015. During emotional testimony, she said Nuria had described her relationship with her husband and son, saying “she couldn’t take it anymore” and “was in tears.”

Mastovich said during cross-examination that she had never actually visited the Kudlach home in College Township and that Nuria had never explicitly said that her husband was not supportive of her pursuit to earn a real estate license.

Cindy Gleim-Pool, of Carlisle, said Alois Kudlach called her the day after the shooting to tell her Nuria had died. She described his tone as “monotonous.”

Gleim-Pool said during cross-examination that Kudlach had been supportive of his wife’s endeavor to earn her real estate license, buying her favorite flowers for her the day she passed the licensing test.

Jurors also heard tearful testimony from Lesley Scamacca, of State College. Scamacca said she had been friends with Nuria Kudlach since 2014 and had spent time with her the night before the shooting.

Scamacca read text messages she and Nuria shared the morning of Aug. 29, 2015, in which Nuria had divulged some of her financial situation, saying she was grateful the home was in a trust and if she and her husband split, he “wouldn’t be able to screw me out of the money I put in the house.”

Scamacca also testified that Nuria had come to her house the evening of Aug. 29 and they had shared a pizza. She told Nuria that if she needed it, she had room in her house for Nuria to stay.

Cross-examination again showed that Scamacca had never interacted with the entire family at their College Township home, and that neither Alois nor Alex Kudlach was ever home when Scamacca visited Nuria.

Additional testimony delved into the Kudlachs’ finances, detailing how the home was owned by a trust in which both Alois and Nuria Kudlach were named as trustees.

Investment Savings Bank of Altoona lending Director Jeffrey Fleck, who assisted the Kudlachs in the purchase of their home, described helping the family in setting up their mortgage and also described the Kudlachs as having “normal” husband and wife interactions.

The Kudlachs’ financial adviser, Audrey Vance, said the last time she met with Nuria Kudlach, Nuria had expressed concern about how she would support herself if the marriage ended. On cross-examination, Vance said Alois Kudlach had mentioned that he would be able to live on half of the family assets.

Huntingdon County attorney Gregory Jackson, who said he was contacted by the District Attorney’s Office as a family law expert, testified that in his estimation, the Kudlachs were worth more than $900,000. Given their employment situation — with Alois Kudlach employed and Nuria Kudlach unemployed — Alois Kudlach could have lost up to 40 percent of his assets in a divorce.

Centre County Correctional Facility inmate Joshua Dunlap also testified Wednesday, saying he was housed with Kudlach in 2015.

Dunlap testified that he had overheard Kudlach’s conversations with other inmates concerning the death of his wife. He claimed Kudlach was very possessive of her, and other inmates doubted how shooting someone three times could be considered self-defense.

Dunlap has faced charges in Centre County for the illegal possession of a firearm, according to Centre County court documents. He was most recently charged and imprisoned for DUI and operating a vehicle without an interlock, according to Clinton County court documents.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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