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Closing arguments begin in Kristen Marti murder trial

Robert Koehler is charged with her murder
Robert Koehler.png
Posted at 6:35 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 12:43:14-04

Closing arguments are underway in a San Luis Obispo murder trial.

Robert Koehler is charged with murder in connection with the 2018 death of Kristen Marti.

The 26-year-old’s body was found 1.6 miles up Prefumo Canyon Road in March 2018 following her disappearance more than two months earlier.

Detectives say her throat was cut.

Koehler was named a person-of-interest in the case before his arrest and later booking at the San Luis Obispo County Jail on May 31, 2018.

The case has been making its way through the court system until early June when opening statements in the trial began.

Now, more than five weeks later, Koehler’s fate is almost in the hands of a jury.

The prosecution went first Monday with closing arguments presented by prosecuting attorney Lisa Mascari.

“The defendant committed the willful, deliberate and premeditated murder of Kristen Marti,” she told the court while urging the jury to find him guilty of first-degree murder.

Mascari emphasized the motive, timing and opportunity, how a specific type of victim was targeted and said Koehler had purchased cocaine and tiletamine in advance, which Mascari says Koehler laced the cocaine with.

Tiletamine is a sedative sometimes used for pets and was found in Kristen’s toxicology report, Mascari said.

She also said Koehler had fantasies that involved cutting/slashing a prostitute, which were reportedly demonstrated in many of Koehler’s personal writings and explained how he had planned to not get caught, mentioning a list the defendant wrote out detailing 20 ways to avoid getting arrested for a crime.

“You’ve heard the evidence, but you decide what are the facts,” Mascari said, addressing the jury while saying that a verdict regarding a cold, calculated decision to kill someone can be reached quickly.

Koehler, 40, has not denied knowing Marti but has refuted the claims that he killed her.

Dressed in a white collared shirt and sitting in a wheelchair, Koehler was clean shaven for Monday’s court appearance when deputies wheeled him into the courtroom.

Koehler has reportedly said Kristen talked him into giving her a ride back in January 2018 but that he dropped her off because he didn’t want her around and wasn’t attracted to her.

Mascari says Koehler changed his story multiple times, detailing how at first, Koehler said he dropped Kristen off at Madonna Plaza in San Luis Obispo, then another time said he dropped her off by car lots off Los Osos Valley Road and then another time said it was 100 or 300 feet from Prefumo Canyon Road along Los Osos Valley Road.

Mascari says there is no surveillance footage from that area showing Kristen was dropped off.

She also explained how Koehler deleted his Gmail account, which she says was tied to a Text Plus account and what prosecutors have argued is how Koehler and Kristen connected.

Mascari said Koehler deleted the Text Plus app off his phone and also deleted his cell phone number.

The prosecutor recounted how testimony indicated Koehler had recently had business cards printed with that cell phone number on it.

Koehler reportedly said he deleted the phone number because he was “tired of girls trying to reach out to him.”

Everything presented in court Monday afternoon was from the prosecution.

The defense will be back to present their closing arguments Tuesday morning.