The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

May 7, 2013

Techel attorney files objections on retrial venue, judicial prejudice


Gardner also filed a motion to restrict law enforcement's use of Facebook, Twitter and other electronic communication to influence public opinion and juror behavior, specifically citing and admitting copies of tweets by Wapello County Sheriff reserve officer and Wapello County Jail administrator Jeremy Weller. Weller was called to testify throughout the trial but was also present outside the courtroom providing security.

"During the course of the trial, members of the Wapello County Sheriff's Department and Wapello County Sheriff's Reserve communicated publicly by Facebook/Twitter and other electronic means of communication to attempt to inflame public passion and prejudice and attempt to influence proposed juror panelists and the inpaneled jury herein," Gardner wrote.

He also filed a motion to change the judge from Judge Daniel Wilson, of District 8A, to the "Chief Judge of the Eighth Judicial District," due to alleged prejudice of Wilson, citing 11 incidents during the first trial, including failing "to strike for cause jurors who had formed and expressed an opinion as to the guilt of [Techel]," allowing the state to introduce evidence previously deemed inadmissible and more. Currently, Mary Ann Brown serves as the chief judge of the Eighth Judicial District.

He also filed a motion in limine, requesting that state prosecutors be admonished for violating ABA Standards for Criminal Justice.

Prior to the trial, the state filed a motion in limine to prohibit the defense from mentioning the death of Brian Tate (a neighbor of the Techels that the defense suggested could have been responsible for Lisa's death), saying it was "without evidentiary support and prejudicial to the state."

In his motion, Gardner wrote that the state then contradicted its own motion during closing arguments, when it argued "that the death of Brian Tate was 'caused by the defense.'" He said the state's conduct was done "with the intent to cultivate bias in the jury, deny [Techel] a right to an impartial jury and inflame the jurors deepest prejudices."

Techel's retrial is currently scheduled to begin on Aug. 12 in Henry County.

To follow Chelsea Davis on Twitter, head to @ChelseaLeeDavis.


Text Only
Local News
  • Graham's presentation A sweet history lesson OTTUMWA — In one of the most popular monthly presentations the Wapello County Historical Society has ever hosted, it was standing-room only to hear the history of Graham Milk and Ice Cream Company and try some of the popular product. A landmark in Ot

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Ready, set, shop! OTTUMWA — Iowa's government says businesses must participate in the Tax-Free Weekend this Friday and Saturday. Store manager Greg Martin isn't complaining. "It’ll be much busier [than typical weekends]. Back to school is the second busiest season nex

    July 31, 2014

  • LCL scholarship recipients Supporting the health care future of the community OTTUMWA — For several area college students, Thursday afternoon was a chance to put names and faces with the thousands of scholarship dollars they have just received. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation hosted a reception to honor the 25 college s

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0801 OTT DMV new building exterior -M Ottumwa's DMV station ready to move OTTUMWA — If you believe you'll need to visit the driver's license station next month, you may want to write this down: 2849 N. Court St., Suite B. That'll be the new address for the Iowa DMV's office, which is currently located across from the Fairf

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0801 OTT Five Things logo -L T Five things to do in southeast Iowa OTTUMWA — Celebrate summer in a variety of ways and in several communities this weekend. Many towns are holding festivals, shows and events all centered around the summer theme, so head out while it's warm. 1. "Summer Shorts" is the Davis County Play

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0731 OTT Aviation plane -T -M Flying free OTTUMWA — The financial obstacle may have been removed if your career goal starts with learning to fly. "We have it set up for three terms, about nine months," said pilot and chief flight instructor Darren Graham at Indian Hills Community College. "

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supervisors discuss pipeline potential KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisors received preliminary, general information on a new pipeline being proposed to carry oil from North Dakota through Iowa, including Van Buren County, then crossing into Illinois. The proposed Bakken Pipeline wou

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairfield stabbing suspects' trials separated FAIRFIELD — The three people accused of dragging a man into a Fairfield apartment before robbing and stabbing him have had a judge grant their requests to separate their trials. Dawn Dunn, Dustin Roll and Brett Hedblade are each charged with willful

    July 30, 2014

  • Local business donates grain rescue tube KEOSAUQUA — Stockport Elevator, owned by Roquette America, donated a grain rescue tube to Birmingham and Stockport Fire Departments. A training session was conducted Monday, led by Dale Ekdahl, a representative of Outstate Data, LLC, the device’s man

    July 30, 2014

  • Where do my taxes go? OTTUMWA — Wapello County Board certified its tax levy. But what does that mean? Based on budgets submitted by various levying authors, the Wapello County Auditor prepares and certifies the levy rates for the county. Budgets for each levy are based on

    July 30, 2014

Photo reprints