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La Crosse man suspected of ex-girlfriend’s murder goes on trial

Brad Williams



Murder suspect Erik Sackett is shown at a court hearing with his attorney Christopher Zachar

A La Crosse man suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend and putting her weighted body in a Vernon County lake goes on trial Monday. 


The homicide trial for Erik Sackett could last up to two weeks in La Crosse County court. 

The prosecution argues that Sackett feared Erin Somvilai would falsely accuse him of a crime, which would send him back to prison. 

Somvilai’s body was tied to concrete blocks in Runge Hollow Lake. It was discovered by a fisherman back in June of 2018.

Sackett’s attorney has suggested the murder was committed by someone else — specifically, an area doctor — or it could have been suicide with someone deciding that her body needed to be hidden.

Sixty-seven potential jurors are set to report to the La Crosse courthouse for the trial before Judge Elliott Levine.

Last month, Levine ruled arguments concerning the doctor can be allowed at the trial.

He also ruled against admitting evidence from sniff-searches by police dogs.