OXNARD, Calif. (KABC) --Opening statements began Tuesday in the murder trial of a woman who says she shot her Olympic medalist husband six years ago at their Oxnard home in self-defense.
Dave Laut, a shot-putter who won a bronze medal in the 1984 Olympics, was killed on Aug. 28, 2009. He was a track coach and athletic director at Hueneme High School in Oxnard at the time of his death.
Defense attorney Ron Bamieh told a jury that his client, 56-year-old Jane Laut, was a victim of abuse and shot her husband, Dave Laut, in self-defense.
"Jane Laut shot and killed her husband of over 30 years," Bamieh said.
He told the jury that for nearly 30 years his client endured physical, verbal and sexual abuse at the hands of her husband.
"Jane Laut lived with a monster, and you're going to hear about it. You're going to hear in detail what he did to her, you're going to hear in detail how he treated her, you're going to hear in detail how he hurt her. He's not the hero of the Olympics, he was the monster who abused her for 27 years," Bamieh said.
Deputy District Attorney Rameen Minoui said Jane Laut hid in the side yard of their home, walked up behind her husband, gunned him down and then lied to detectives about it.
"While he was looking away from her from a distance of several feet, she raised that revolver to the back of his head and she fired that first shot," Minoui said.
The prosecution played the 911 call where Jane Laut said she heard gunfire. She initially told investigators that her husband was gunned down by a prowler when he went to check noises they heard in their back yard.
The prosecution also played portions of a police station interview with detectives where she's told her story isn't adding up. She later recanted her story, telling investigators she pulled the trigger in self-defense.
A motive for the murder was not mentioned by prosecutors. If convicted, Jane Laut could face up to life in prison.
The Associated Press contributed to this report