Court hears Techel appeal
Des Moines, Iowa —
Three trials weren't enough for Seth Techel
The Agency man serving life in prison for killing his pregnant wife is asking for a fourth trial.
Techel was convicted in 2014 for First Degree Murder in the shooting death of his wife, Lisa, in the couple's Agency home.
The verdict came after two previous trials ended in hung juries.
Today, Techel's appellate attorney made his case to the Iowa Court of Appeals.
He wants the conviction reversed and to be granted a fourth trial.
The appeal focuses on Lisa's ties to co-worker Jason Tinnes. The two were having an affair. That relationship ended after Lisa became pregnant.
The information on the affair, apparently only came to the defense's attention in the months leading up to the third trial.
Today, Techel's attorney Martha Lucey argued that the Techel wasn't given enough time to investigate his wife's affair. The defense says a lack of time prevented the chance to uncover evidence that would have proven him innocent.
That amounts to a Brady Violation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that requires prosecutors to turn over exculpatory evidence.
"What was the defense supposed to do when they're trying to investigate during a trial for First Degree Murder? Two hours away from the scene where anything would necessarily be," Lucey said.
Prosecutors argued that Techel received a fair trial.
They argued today that Techel was aware his wife was having an affair. They also told the court that defense had the opportunity to use evidence of the affair. They simply chose not to because it gave Techel yet another reason to kill his wife.
"What he wants now, it's not specific. He wants to see if there's something else out there. Investigate the investigation. And that's not enough to meet Brady and for the same reasons, it's not good and probably cause to continue the trial," Assistant Attorney General Kristin Guddall said.
It will be some time until the Appeals Court issues a ruling in the case.