Trial Of Former Tulsa School Teacher Charged With Murder Underway

Wednesday, September 15th 2010, 7:37 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- Testimony began Wednesday in the murder trial of a former Tulsa teacher accused of murdering his wife in 2008.

John Kastner, a former teacher at Tulsa's Webster High School, claimed an intruder shot his wife, Lori, in the head during a home invasion, then shot him in the hand during the ensuing struggle.

9/13/2010 Related story: Jury Selection Underway In Murder Trial Of Former Tulsa Teacher

The prosecution told jurors that Kastner had been leading a life of lies. They said Kastner had convinced his wife to quit her job working for the state Supreme Court and take a lucrative job with a company he owned.

The prosecution also said Kastner promised hundreds of thousands of dollars to Webster High School and its football coaches. But, they said, Kastner did not have any money, did not own the company, and the family was drowning in debt.

The defense admitted Kastner told lies and that he was a desperate man.  But they said his wife was killed by an intruder and that sloppy police work is why they're accusing Kastner of murder.  His attorney said Kastner bought the gun to commit suicide.

The defense is trying to pick apart Tulsa Police Officers who were on the scene.  Kastner's attorney spent much of his time asking officers why what they were saying on the stand did not match the exact words they put in their official report.

Kastner told his family and friends he was a former citizen of the state of Israel as well as a member of the Israeli Defense Forces.  The person on the stand Wednesday was an employee for the Israeli Consulate in Chicago, who testified that was simply not true.