The Ottumwa Courier

August 8, 2013

Techel retrial likely pushed to 2014


Ottumwa Courier

---- — OTTUMWA — It could be months before Seth Techel's retrial begins.

Techel, 22, is charged with first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy following the shooting death of his wife and unborn child on May 26, 2012 at their home in rural Agency. A nearly month-long trial this spring resulted in a mistrial after the jury could not reach a unanimous decision on the verdict.

On Tuesday, his lead attorney, Steven Gardner, filed a motion through Techel's other attorney, Robert Box, to push the trial back due to Gardner's health.

Gardner is "having complications from a medical condition that is affecting him significantly," according to court documents.

At the hearing Tuesday, Gardner's condition and likely diagnosis were discussed, but "for privacy reasons, the same will not be detailed in this ruling."

Techel confirmed that he would continue to waive his right to trial within a year of his arraignment, which was on July 13, 2012.

"Because of the uncertain nature of this situation, the court is unable to now determine the length of the continuation of this trial," according to court documents.

State prosecutor Andy Prosser said the state wouldn't be available for the retrial until January or later.

A telephonic hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday for an update on Gardner's medical condition and possible rescheduling of the retrial.