Jane says Dave started physically abusing her about a year into their marriage. One day, when she forgot to buy him toiletries before a trip, she says he hit her, causing a black eye and a split lip. Jane says Dave told her "if anybody asks, tell 'em some n----r did it."
On Aug. 27, 2009, Jane and Michael returned home from the beach, and Jane says Dave was angry that they didn't ask about his day. She says she put 10-year-old Michael to bed, and then, as she had for the past two years, crawled into bed with him. She says "he [Michael] was scared" of Dave's constant yelling from the living room.
Several hours later, Jane Laut was taken to Oxnard Police headquarters and spoke to Det. Erik Mora. She told him Dave had heard an intruder in the backyard, and she and Dave went to investigate. He told her to go back in the house, and she heard gunshots and called 911.
After being released, Jane Laut met with defense attorney Ron Bamieh. She told him Dave had been abusive for years, and had threatened to kill her and Michael that night, and she shot him in self-defense. She also showed him a large bruise on her left arm.
Jane's son Michael Laut, now 17, testified that his father had a bad temper, yelled a lot and called him names sometimes. When prosecutor Rameen Minoui, asked him if his father was ever violent with him or Jane, he said he couldn't recall.