Gerlach Makes Appearance In Court, Pleads Not Guilty - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: Gerlach Makes Appearance In Court, Pleads Not Guilty

SPOKANE, Wash. -

SPOKANE, Wash – Exactly two weeks after Gail Gerlach was charged with 1st Degree Manslaughter in the shooting death of Brendan Kaluza-Graham, he appeared before a Spokane County Judge for the first time, pleading not guilty.

Gerlach was arraigned before Judge James Triplet Wednesday afternoon, alongside his attorney Richard Lee, surrounded by his wife, Sharon Gerlach, and both sets of Kaluza-Graham's grandparents.

Gerlach must be booked and released from the Spokane County Jail on Thursday, but is allowed to stay at home during the court proceedings.  Outside the courtroom, Gerlach said he hasn't thought much about what that will be like.

"I'm not worried about it though, we'll just take it one day at a time," he said.

It was the morning of March 25th when Gerlach's Suburban was stolen out of his North Spokane driveway.  Gerlach called 911, and ran after the thief telling him to stop.  Gerlach reported he saw the driver reach back with something he thought was a gun, so he fired one shot from his concealed weapon. 

That shot went through the back window of his Suburban, through a car seat, through the driver's headrest, and into Brendan Kaluza-Graham's neck, killing him.

"It will get better when all this is over, but it's never going to be the same," Sharon Gerlach told KHQ.  "Our lives are irrevocably changed.  It's never going to go back to the way it was."

The Gerlach family was met at the Spokane County Courthouse by a support rally organized over Facebook, on a page with more than 1,800 supporters. The crowd of roughly a dozen people – many of whom have never met Gerlach – met to champion his defense, calling the shooting self-defense.

"If my family were in this situation, I would have done the same," supporter Chrissy Buchmann told KHQ.  "Gail's a father, he's a grandfather, he owns a business here in town.  He's going to lose everything, and to me, family is important and I think he should be home with his family."

"Everybody's playing Monday quarterback guessing what this guy did, when it was his life on the line and he had a split second to react," supporter Greg Melrose told KHQ.  "He fired one shot."

In the months since the shooting, Spokane Police worked to finish its investigation, before handing it over to the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office.  After meeting with deputy prosecutors and Major Crimes detectives, Chief Prosecutor Steve Tucker announced Gerlach would, in fact, be charged.

Both sets of Brendan Kaluza-Graham's grandparents sat in court for Gerlach's arraignment, but asked not to be on camera. 

Before the hearing, Mike Kaluza told KHQ, "This is just the next step in the process, and we'll go from here."

The Kaluza and Graham families met with prosecutors before Wednesday's hearing to get a better understanding of the court process, and what to expect over the next several weeks and months.

Gerlach's trial is set for September 3rd, but his attorney Richard Lee says it will likely be delayed.

UPDATE: On Wednesday afternoon Gail Gerlach pleaded not guilty to 1st degree manslaughter. Gerlach's trial is set for Sept. 3rd, he's ordered to have no contact with Kaluza-Graham's family.

PREVIOUS STORY:

From Kelsey Watts:  Gail Gerlach's will make a court appearance today. He's being arraigned on one count of 1st degree manslaughter in the March 25th shooting death of Brendan Kaluza-Graham. His supporters are expected to hold a support rally outside the courthouse, and Kaluza-Graham's grandparents will be there too.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Utah man killed his wife on cruise because she wouldn't stop laughing at him

    Utah man killed his wife on cruise because she wouldn't stop laughing at him

    Thursday, July 27 2017 7:44 PM EDT2017-07-27 23:44:32 GMT

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Authorities say a Utah man killed his wife aboard a cruise ship and told an acquaintance who later walked into the blood-splattered cabin that he did it because she wouldn't stop laughing at him. A criminal complaint by an FBI special agent says Kenneth Manzanares was found in the couple's room on the Emerald Princess on Tuesday night with blood on his hands and clothes and blood spread throughout the cabin.

    >>

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Authorities say a Utah man killed his wife aboard a cruise ship and told an acquaintance who later walked into the blood-splattered cabin that he did it because she wouldn't stop laughing at him. A criminal complaint by an FBI special agent says Kenneth Manzanares was found in the couple's room on the Emerald Princess on Tuesday night with blood on his hands and clothes and blood spread throughout the cabin.

    >>
  • Bullets from drive-by shooting fly into baby's bedroom

    Bullets from drive-by shooting fly into baby's bedroom

    Thursday, July 27 2017 11:22 PM EDT2017-07-28 03:22:06 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A drive-by shooting leaves a Spokane family shaken and terrified. The bullets actually flew into their baby boy’s bedroom. Thankfully, he was sleeping in a different room. This happened near Lacrosse and Nevada shortly after midnight Thursday. Alexis Pipkin is understandably upset. “At this point we don't know who it was so it's kind of scary just having to be here,” she says. She was out on her porch 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A drive-by shooting leaves a Spokane family shaken and terrified. The bullets actually flew into their baby boy’s bedroom. Thankfully, he was sleeping in a different room. This happened near Lacrosse and Nevada shortly after midnight Thursday. Alexis Pipkin is understandably upset. “At this point we don't know who it was so it's kind of scary just having to be here,” she says. She was out on her porch 

    >>
  • 3-year-old twins die in Long Island pool accident

    3-year-old twins die in Long Island pool accident

    Thursday, July 27 2017 8:40 PM EDT2017-07-28 00:40:59 GMT

    MELVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say 3-year-old twin brothers have died after they were pulled from a backyard swimming pool on Long Island.      Suffolk County Police Detective Lt. Kevin Beyrer says the mother, who had just awakened, looked out the window and saw one of the boys floating in the pool Wednesday morning. She ran outside and administered CPR while calling 911 on a speaker phone at about 8:40 a.m.

    >>

    MELVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say 3-year-old twin brothers have died after they were pulled from a backyard swimming pool on Long Island.      Suffolk County Police Detective Lt. Kevin Beyrer says the mother, who had just awakened, looked out the window and saw one of the boys floating in the pool Wednesday morning. She ran outside and administered CPR while calling 911 on a speaker phone at about 8:40 a.m.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 27th

    Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 27th

    Thursday, July 27 2017 5:31 PM EDT2017-07-27 21:31:26 GMT
    Mad Minute for 12/30/16Mad Minute for 12/30/16

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 27th.

    >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 27th.

    >>
  • Man killed in UTV accident near Calder

    Man killed in UTV accident near Calder

    Thursday, July 27 2017 11:52 PM EDT2017-07-28 03:52:53 GMT
    Man killed in UTV accident near CalderMan killed in UTV accident near Calder

    CALDER, Idaho - Idaho State Police say 35-year-old Fernando A Camayo was driving a John Deer Gator UTV Wednesday evening when he backed it over an embankment.  The vehicle overturned, killing Camayo.  Police say he was not wearing  seatbelt or helmet at the time and they are continuing to investigate the accident. 

    >>

    CALDER, Idaho - Idaho State Police say 35-year-old Fernando A Camayo was driving a John Deer Gator UTV Wednesday evening when he backed it over an embankment.  The vehicle overturned, killing Camayo.  Police say he was not wearing  seatbelt or helmet at the time and they are continuing to investigate the accident. 

    >>
  • Dodson wildfire rekindles, prompting road closures in Grant County

    Dodson wildfire rekindles, prompting road closures in Grant County

    Thursday, July 27 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-07-28 03:32:37 GMT

    GRANT COUNTY, Wash. - A wildfire from Wednesday night has rekindled, prompting crews to close Dodson Road South and Road 4-Southwest in Grant County.  Firefighters are asking drivers to find another way around while crews work to put out the fire. No homes are at risk at this time. 

    >>

    GRANT COUNTY, Wash. - A wildfire from Wednesday night has rekindled, prompting crews to close Dodson Road South and Road 4-Southwest in Grant County.  Firefighters are asking drivers to find another way around while crews work to put out the fire. No homes are at risk at this time. 

    >>