Murder suspect attends subpoena hearing

Seth Techel is charged with first-degree murder

Defense and prosecution attorneys in the case of Seth Techel met at the Wapello County Courthouse Monday to present arguments regarding a subpoena for records.

Techel, 21, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his pregnant wife, Lisa Marie Techel, 23. He has pleaded not guilty, and is currently being held in the Monroe County Jail. Techel appeared alongside his lawyer, Steve Gardner, in court.

Techel's defense filed a subpoena for paperwork and records from the Agency Fire Department and Emergency Services from their response on the day of Lisa's death. The subpoena was filed on June 27, and the prosecution filed a subsequent resistance motion on July 2.

Both sides presented their reasons for issuing or not issuing the subpoena in front of Judge Lucy Gamon. The defense argued that the subpoena follows Techel's right to due process, and since the records are neither confidential nor oppressive, there is no reason why they should not be released. Gardner also stated that the defense has very little so far to build a case, because they don't have access to much of the evidence at this time.

The state prosecution argued that subpoenas can only be issued by the defense if they are calling for a witness in a disposition or trial. They have no right to issue blanket subpoenas for anything, any time they want. The prosecution also pointed out that they are waiting on much of the same evidence as the defense, such as reports from the DCI. The papers and reports in question will not "go stale" if they are not released immediately.

Judge Gamon said she would take the matter under advisement and issue a written decision.

The defense also raised another issue while in court. Gardner asked for Techel to be allowed to wear street clothing whenever he is to make public or court appearances. The standard for incarcerated criminals is to wear their striped jumpsuits.

Judge Gamon said the sheriff had to be consulted on this issue.

Many of Lisa's friends and family were present in court, and Techel did not speak or make any statements to the judge.