The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 14, 2014

Jury selection underway in Davenport

DAVENPORT — Jury selection for the third murder trial of Seth Techel, 23, of Wapello County, will continue this afternoon after a lunch break for the roomful of potential jurors who were called earlier today.

During proceedings this morning, Techel conferred often with his defense team, which includes court-appointed attorneys Jake Feuerhelm and Roger Owens of Des Moines. Also on hand were prosecutors Assistant Attorneys General Scott Brown and Andrew Prosser, who have prosecuted the case since its beginning.

Techel faces charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy after his pregnant wife, Lisa Caldwell Techel, was shot and killed in the couple’s mobile home near Agency in May 2012.

This is the third time that Judge Daniel Wilson has presided over Techel’s trial after Wilson first was assigned the case in July 2012. Each of the first two trials in Wapello and Henry counties ended because of a hung jury.

Techel’s defense attorneys Steven Gardner and Robert Box withdrew from the case after the second mistrial.

Prospective jurors crowded into a third-floor courtroom in the Scott County Courthouse in Davenport this morning. When Wilson told the jury pool that the trial might last two or three weeks, several gasped aloud in surprise. Wilson reassured the possible jurors that, once the trial gets underway, they would have breaks throughout the day, and “I’ll do my best to get you out of here by 4:30 each day.”

Potential jurors then were directed to approach the judge and speak to him on an individual basis if they felt they were unable to serve during such a lengthy trial. Several members of the jury pool, after speaking to the judge, left the courtroom. Fifteen more prospective jurors were brought in after the jury pool dwindled.

Before a lunch break, Wilson admonished jurors not to discuss the case among themselves or with anyone else and also asked them not to “read, listen to or watch any news accounts of this case.”

 

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