Murder trial in death of Olympian Dave Laut is delayed
The murder trial of Jane Laut in the shooting death of her husband, retired Olympic shot putter Dave Laut, has been delayed for at least two months.
Attorneys for both sides asked for the delay Tuesday in the Ventura courthouse where the trial had been scheduled to begin.
The new trial date is Oct. 2, although another postponement is possible, said Ron Bamieh, defense attorney for the 55-year-old Laut.
She is accused of shooting her husband on Aug. 27, 2009. Initially, she concocted a story about a prowler but months later confessed to the killing, saying she had acted in self-defense.
Laut said her husband was drunk and threatening to kill her, their young son and two family dogs when she managed to wrest a .22 handgun away from him.
As he advanced on her, she shot him five times. Laut's brother, Don Laut, said Tuesday that he was outraged by the defense's portrayal of his late brother as a violent alcoholic. Dave Laut was a world-class shot putter in the early 1980s, winning a bronze medal in the event in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. The Lauts were married for nearly 29 years.
Don Laut called his brother a reserved and mild-mannered man who would never hurt anyone.
"They are reaching, grasping for anything they can,'' said Don Laut, 46, a Long Beach physical education teacher. "She is fighting for her life and she’s lying. I have no idea why you would take another person’s life."
-- Catherine Saillant
Photo: Dave Laut competes in the shot put at the 1984 Summer Olympics in L.A. Credit: Tony Duffy / Getty Images