SPOKANE, Wash. -- The man accused of fatally shooting a North Spokane SUV thief faced a judge Wednesday afternoon.
Gail Gerlach was arraigned for First Degree Manslaughter in a Spokane courtroom. Gerlach’s wife said she believe that husband would be booked and immediately released. However, Gerlach pleaded not guilty and was released on his recognizance.
The judge said Gerlach must report to jail by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday. He will then be booked, fingerprinted, and released.
A judge scheduled Gerlach’s trial for September 3rd.
Sharon Gerlach told me the couple was nervous. You can watch her interview on KREM 2 News at 6:00 p.m.
Gail Gerlach admitted to shooting and killing a man who tried to steal Gerlach’s SUV in March. Gerlach shot 25-year-old Brendan Kaluza-Graham while he was stealing Gerlach's 1997 Chevrolet Suburban
Gerlach’s wife and sister spoke with KREM 2 News on Wednesday. Both women said they support Gerlach 100%. His wife said he is stressed and anxious about the decision.
“Gail is a very patient, kind man. He is my best friend and the one the kids go to when they need comfort and understanding,” said Sharon Gerlach.
His lawyer, Richard Lee, said Gerlach is very disappointed by the decision to charge him.
“We are going to pursue all angles of this. Whether it's self defense or any other angle, we're in the beginning of the discovery stage,” said Lee.
Gerlach could serve up to eight years in jail for this first degree manslaughter charge if he is found guilty.