The Ottumwa Courier

August 15, 2013

Techel retrial delayed further

Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — The delay continues for Seth Techel's retrial.

At a hearing in Appanoose County Thursday afternoon, Assistant Attorneys General Andy Prosser and Scott Brown phoned in with Techel and one of his defense attorneys, Robert Box.

Techel, 22, is charged with first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy in the death of his wife and unborn child at their rural Agency home in May 2012. The jury could not reach a unanimous decision on a verdict earlier this year, resulting in a mistrial.

While the retrial had been scheduled to begin Aug. 12, Steven Gardner, Techel's lead attorney, had medical problems that led to the retrial's delay.

During Thursday's hearing, it was determined that the trial should continue to be delayed. Counsel offered up possible dates for the retrial during the hearing, including Oct. 21, Oct. 28 or sometime after January.

"A continued delay of commencement and conclusion of trial will eventually be prejudicial to the parties," according to court documents. "At some point, the court may need to decide whether successor counsel for Mr. Techel must be appointed. If that occurs, it will necessarily affect the scheduling of commencement of trial."

The court decided to consider an Oct. 28 start date, but if that date is unavailable or doesn't fit into either counsel's schedules, a court date will be selected sometime after Jan. 1.