Jury selection for Techel re-trial underway

Seth Techel

UPDATE: On Tuesday, prosecutors in the first degree murder trial of Seth Techel finished their questioning of the potential jurors.

State Attorney General Andrew Prosser spent most of the morning in a Henry County courtroom in Mount Pleasant in front of the 40 prospective jurors.

Prosser asked each of the jurors for a brief biography. He seemed primarily concerned if jurors had any connection to the legal or mental health professions.

Prosser spent a great deal of his time with the jury discussing the subject of circumstantial evidence.

Prosser was trying to determine if the jurors knew the difference between direct and circumstantial evidence, and if they had any bias against circumstantial type of evidence.

There were no witnesses to the murder of Lisa Caldwell Techel, so the state will have to rely on circumstantial evidence to convict Techel.

Defense counsel Steve Gardner took his turn in front of the jury during the afternoon session.


UPDATE: By mid-afternoon Monday, the pool of jurors had been cut by more than half at the courthouse in Henry County.

The jury selection is taking extra importance this time around, since it was nearly seven months ago that a Wapello County Jury failed to reach a decision in the first-degree murder case of Seth Techel. By the time the jury selection process is complete, the panel will be cut to 12 jurors and four alternates.

As of Monday evening, it looked like a jury might be seated by late Tuesday afternoon, clearing the way for opening statements to begin on Wednesday morning.

Jury selection began Monday morning at the Henry County Courthouse in the re-trial of Seth Techel.

Nearly 100 Henry County residents were called as prosecutors and the Techel defense team tries to select the 12 member jury, along with four alternates. That jury will attempt to determine if Techel is responsible for the shooting death of his wife, Lisa Caldwell Techel in May 2012.

The process for selecting a jury, known as voir dire, is expected to last at least a day and a half as both parties try to seat a jury that is capable of reaching a verdict in the controversial case.

It was just about seven months ago that a Wapello County jury deadlocked on whether Techel killed his pregnant wife in their Agency home.

Judge Daniel Wilson hoped that by moving the trial nearly an hour to the east of Ottumwa, a jury could be seated that could reach a verdict.

Opening arguments will begin as soon as a jury is chosen.

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Jury selection in the retrial of Seth Techel set to begin

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