Suspect `Sounded Hollow' Before Slayings

8 years 9 months 1 week ago Wednesday, August 24 2011 Aug 24, 2011 Wednesday, August 24, 2011 10:54:55 AM CDT August 24, 2011 in News
By: Associated Press

LYNDON, Kan. - A longtime friend of a man accused of killing four family members in Kansas tells jurors James Kahler (KAY'-lur) was not himself shortly before the killings.

Attorneys for 48-year-old Kahler on Wednesday called Victor Holtorf of Fort Collins, Colo., as a witness in Kahler's capital murder trial.

Kahler is charged with shooting his estranged wife, their two teenage daughters and his wife's grandmother the weekend after Thanksgiving 2009 at the grandmother's house about 20 miles south of Topeka.

Defense attorneys contend Kahler snapped mentally as his wife pursued a divorce. Holtorf testified that Kahler "sounded hollow"
just before the shootings.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Testimony is expected to conclude Wednesday.

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