Trial of Barrington man charged with killing wife to likely conclude Wednesday

  • Larry Lotz

    Larry Lotz

Updated 8/21/2019 8:11 AM

The trial of Larry Lotz, the Barrington man accused of fatally shooting his wife during an argument over a coffee maker, is expected to wrap up Wednesday.

Lotz, 69, is charged with first-degree murder for shooting his wife to death on Jan. 14, 2016.


Lotz's lawyer Richard Houser and prosecutors, led by Assistant Lake County State's Attorney Lauren Kalcheim-Rothenberg, will make their closing arguments to Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes Wednesday afternoon. Lotz elected for a bench trial.

The trial began in July and was postponed for several weeks to suit the schedules of expert witnesses.

When Lotz was interrogated by Barrington police hours after the shooting, he told investigators he and his 59-year-old wife had been arguing because he'd forgotten to turn off a coffeepot. He retreated to a room in his garage and tried to shoot himself in the head, but the gun wouldn't discharge, he said.

As his wife continued yelling at him, he told police, he pointed the gun at her and fired.

Expert witnesses called by Lotz's attorneys have testified that the defendant, a Vietnam War veteran, meets the criteria for an insanity defense because he was having a dissociative episode related to his post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr. Roni Seltzberg, a Chicago psychiatrist who was asked to testify by prosecutors, said she believed Lotz was very angry, not insane, when he shot his wife.

Seltzberg was on the stand for more than three hours Tuesday afternoon and spent most of that time fielding questions from Houser about how she came to her opinion. She said she met with Lotz two times for a total of nine hours and based her opinion on those meetings as well as records of the case.

Lotz is free on $3 million bail but has been on electronic monitoring since May 2016.

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