The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 11, 2014

Techel trial begins Monday

DAVENPORT — More than two years have passed since Lisa Techel was shot and killed in her home near Agency. Two juries have failed to decide whether she died at the hands of her husband, Seth.

A third jury will begin work Monday in what everyone hopes is the last trial.

Jury selection will start Seth Techel’s trial in Davenport. The trial has moved each time, trying to find a jury that hasn’t heard too much about the case to be impartial.

There are new people involved this time. Techel’s defense team of Steven Gardner and Robert Box are gone. They withdrew from the case following the second mistrial. In their place is Gerald Feuerhelm, who in pretrial motions suggested the defense has found additional witnesses and who has aggressively pursued records related to a man the defense says is a better suspect than Techel.

Judge Daniel Wilson is again on the bench. He was assigned the case in July 2012. Major cases often have judges assigned to hear proceedings to provide greater continuity.

Recent filings show Andy Prosser and Scott Brown, assistant attorneys general for the state, continue to be prosecuting the case.

Techel was in the couple’s trailer when Lisa was killed. He says he was in the shower, only feet away from the bed where she died. Prosecutors say he was holding the shotgun.

Much of the pretrial sparring has centered on the medical records Feuerhelm has sought. They belong to a man named Brian Tate, who was Techel’s neighbor. Tate’s death means he has never testified, but he is a major figure in the trial nonetheless.

Tate had complained to authorities about harassment by Techel, including having rocks and dog waste thrown at his property. Techel denied the allegations. Witnesses have testified they were true, though, and that they harassed Tate at Techel’s request.

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