The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 12, 2013

Defense continues case after day off at Techel trial

(Continued)

When asked what his opinion was on if gunshot residue tests should be performed on Techel, Cayton replied, “I believe it should have been done.”

The cross examination from prosecutor Andy Prosser focused around whether or not the evidence Cayton analyzed could have determined where Techel was at the time of his wife’s death. Cayton replied with a simple “No.”

Prosser also made mention to the fact that examiners who collect gunshot residue tests routinely include in their reports that the tests do not conclude whether the subject is or is not the killer. Cayton agreed that the tests cannot prove a person was the one doing the killing only based on having gunshot residue on their hands or clothes.

After Cayton’s testimony, Prosser and Gardner held a brief meeting at the judge’s bench. Judge Daniel Wilson then sent the jury on recess because the prosecution had problems with the next witness.

Prosser urged that the testimony by the next witness be held in private, with just the councils and Wilson present, due to the fact that medical records of the deceased Brian Tate were going to be used by the defense.

Tate passed away at his home on Sept. 30, 2012. His medical records, according to Prosser, have not been released by his estate, so they are still confidential and should not be allowed to be made public. However, continuing in private would violate Techel’s right to a public trial, Gardner said.

Both counsels and Wilson entered the judge’s chambers for more than an hour to discuss Tate’s medical records. After their meeting, the judge brought out the jury, and the defense called their next witness, Dr. James Trahan of the Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames.

Trahan is a psychiatrist, and he conducted an assessment on Tate when he was admitted to the medical center on Sept. 13 until Sept. 21. Trahan observed at that time that Tate was “a rather disheveled man,” and he would pace back-and-forth and barely talk when he first arrived.

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