(9/27/12) A La Crosse man was convicted late yesterday of strangling a 35-year-old woman and leaving her body in a dirt lot on a cold morning in March.
Jurors deliberated for over two hours before they found 45-year-old Izelia Golatt guilty of first-degree intentional homicide. He'll be given a mandatory life prison sentence, but a judge can decide whether Golatt will be eligible for a supervised release someday. Golatt killed 35-year-old Kristen Tabbert Rodgers on March sixth, after the two exchanged text messages about her desire to buy cocaine. Golatt did not testify, but the defense brought in a pathologist who said Rodgers died from hypothermia and a cocaine overdose – and not strangulation, as prosecutors had contended. Doctor Shaku Teas said Rodgers had no obvious signs of strangulation. But jurors believed the state's medical examiner, Vincent Tranchida, who said the victim's injuries were consistent with a manual strangulation.