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Jury selection begins in La Crosse photo store homicide

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) – Jury selection is underway in western Wisconsin in the trial of a Minnesota man accused of killing a camera store owner and his teenage son.

Prosecutors in La Crosse County say they will argue that heavy debt caused Jeffrey Lepsch to fatally shoot Paul Petras and his 19-year-old son, A.J., and steal merchandise at May’s Photo in La Crosse last September.

The 40-year-old Dakota, Minn., man has denied any involvement in the slayings. According to the criminal complaint, Lepsch stole $20,000 worth of merchandise from the photo store. Authorities say Lepsch needed money to pay a $60,000 judgment against him in a 2003 theft case.

Lepsch is charged with two counts of first-degree homicide, armed robbery with the use of force and illegal possession of a firearm.

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