Kahler murder trial: defense makes its case

James "Kraig" Kahler

The defense took over Monday in the second week of trial for former Columbia resident James "Kraig" Kahler.

Testimony centered on setting up the defense that Kahler snapped mentally when he went on a shooting spree at a home in Burlingame, Kansas in 2009. That's where his wife and three children were visiting his wife's grandmother.

Kahler is charged with shooting his wife, two daughter and the grandmother. His son escaped.

Attorneys for the former head of the Columbia Water and Light Department called on friends of the family from Texas where Kahler was a utility official before moving to Columbia.

A former friend of Kahler's wife Karen told the jury she she formed an impression of the suspect as "controlling."

Liz McAulay testified that Karen Kahler told her the defendant required her to account for everything she spent and expected her to have sex with him every night, which the wife viewed as "one of her chores."

Kahler's father Wayne Kahler also took the stand. He said his son James was depressed and not eating well in the weeks before the shootings. Defense attorneys have also argued that Karen Kahler was having a lesbian affair that lead the defendant to "snap." The prosecution contends it was Kraig Kahler who invited the second women into their bedroom.

Another couple from Texas, Don and Marina Coulter told the court they asked Karen to stop her lesbian affair.

Former Columbia City Manager Bill Watkins is slated to testify Tuesday.