Mt Pleasant News

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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 23, 2017

Opening arguments in Techel murder trial could begin as early as this afternoon

Oct 29, 2013

By The Associated Press

A pool of about 100 people was narrowed down Monday during jury selection in the trial of a former Iowa jail guard charged with first-degree murder in the killing of his pregnant wife.

Jury selection will continue Tuesday in the second trial of Seth Techel, The Des Moines Register reported. Opening arguments could start as early as Tuesday afternoon. Prosecutors and defense attorneys must first agree on 12 jurors and four alternate jurors.

Techel, of Agency, is charged with first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy in the May 2012 death of Lisa Techel and their unborn child. His wife was shot at the couple’s home near Agency in southeast Iowa.

A judge declared a mistrial in March after an Ottumwa jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict. Prosecutors alleged Techel killed his wife because he wanted to pursue a relationship with another woman. The defense argued a neighbor might have killed her. They also said he wanted to end his marriage but feared alienation from Lisa Techel’s father, a sheriff’s deputy.

Both Techels worked in law enforcement. Seth Techel was a jailer for Wapello County and Lisa Techel was a reserve deputy.

Techel’s trial was moved from Ottumwa to Mount Pleasant because of media coverage and publicity surrounding the first trial. He remains in custody.

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