After two days of jury selection, opening arguments in the retrial of Seth Techel on first degree murder charges started in Mt. Pleasant Wednesday morning.
Nearly eight months after a Wapello County jury failed to reach a verdict in the case, the location has changed, and the jury has changed, but the line of argument from the state and the defense remains the same.
Assistant State Attorney General Scott Brown made the opening statement for the prosecution.
Brown took the jury through the evidence the state intends to present, but he wanted the panel to understand that from the prosecutionâ??s point of view, there is no doubt as to who killed a pregnant Lisa Caldwell Techel in the early morning hours of May 26, 2012.
â??Seth Techel is the one who shot and killed his wife and terminated her pregnancy, Seth Techel is the one who was behind the 12 gauge shot gun, Seth Techel was behind the shot gun who pulled the trigger who caused the deer slug to slam into his wife and kill her,â?? said Brown.
Brown told jurors, that Seth Techel and only Seth Techel was at the home that morning, and that only Techel had motive and opportunity. Brown says the state will prove that Techel was desperate to get out of a failing marriage and begin a new relationship with another woman.
Defense Attorney Steven Gardner made it clear when he addressed the jury, that the defense is pursuing the same theory of the case that led to a hung jury the first time around.
Gardner told jurors that law enforcement rushed to judge Techel and ignored evidence that pointed to the Techel's neighbor Brian Tate. Garnder repeatedly described the now deceased Tate as seriously mentally ill.
In fact, Gardner says the victim's own father, Wapello County Sheriff Deputy Todd Caldwell, thought Tate was responsible when he arrived on the scene in the early morning hours of May 26.
Watch for continued updates as the trial continues to progress.