Murder or self-defense? Trial in 2015 Gurnee killing set to begin
Was David Brocksom acting in self-defense when he shot his ex-wife as they struggled over a gun inside her Gurnee home in the middle of the night three years ago?
That's the question a jury will need to answer when Brocksom's trial takes center stage at the Lake County courthouse starting Monday.
Attorneys involved in the case said jury selection is expected to begin Monday and could last through Tuesday, pushing opening arguments to Wednesday morning.
Brocksom, 46, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, faces seven felony counts of first-degree murder in the death of ex-wife Beata Brocksom, 48. He also faces three felony counts of home invasion and one count of robbery.
If found guilty at trial, Brocksom could be sentenced up to life in prison. He's being held in Lake County jail on $3 million bail.
Assistant Lake County State's Attorney Jason Humke and defense attorney Gabriel Conroe of the Lake County Public Defender's Office would not comment on the case ahead of Monday's trial.
Authorities say David Brocksom was with his two children in the Wisconsin Dells when his daughter told him her mother, Beata, had assaulted her. They allege David Brocksom became irate, left the children in Wisconsin in the middle of the night and drove to Beata's home on the 3700 block of Pacific Avenue.
After he arrived there at 4 a.m. Sept. 27, 2015, the former spouses got into an argument that "quickly escalated" into a fistfight, authorities said. David told police that he was struck in the face with an object that knocked him over. When he snapped out of it, he was on his back and Beata was standing over him with a gun, he told police.
The two struggled for the gun and two shots were fired, authorities said. The struggle continued and another shot was fired. David Brocksom told police that he thought he had been shot in the face because of pain in his cheek.
Beata then ran through a window into the backyard. After checking himself for injuries, David Brocksom went after her through the window, catching up to her near bushes behind the house, where she died, authorities said.
Coroner officials later determined that Beata had been shot in the neck and the bullet had struck her spine.
David Brocksom left his ex-wife near the bushes, went into the house to retrieve his glasses, grabbed her two cellphones and ran away, authorities said. He then called a friend to pick up his children from the Wisconsin Dells hotel, went to his parents' house and turned himself in to police after the children came home, authorities said.
The trial is expected to last two weeks.