Techel's fate in the hands of the jury

UPDATED- Thursday 4:50 p.m.

The third full day of deliberations in the first degree murder trial of Seth Techel has come and gone without the jury returning a verdict.

Judge Daniel Wilson addressed the panel around 4 p.m. this afternoon, complimenting them on their continued hard work.

He also alluded to a question that panel had put to him in writing.

Judge Wilson did not make public the contents of that communication, only saying that he may have an answer for them on Friday morning.

It is impossible to know for certain where the jury is at in its deliberations. However, there do seem to be indications that the jury may be struggling to reach a unanimous verdict.

The panel has now been deliberating for roughly 25 hours since being handed the case.

In a written statement to the media this earlier this afternoon, Judge Wilson said that there are no set limits on now long a jury can deliberate.

Jurors have been asked to return to the courthouse at 9 a.m. on Friday.


UPDATED - Wednesday 5:15 p.m.

There is still no verdict in the first degree murder trial of Seth Techel.

Judge Dan Wilson released the jury for the night just before five o'clock this evening.

The jury has spent roughly 17 hours considering the case since they began their deliberations late Monday afternoon.

Very little is being released about what evidence the jury is considering or what questions they may have.

Judge Wilson issued a written statement Wednesday afternoon saying that jurors had asked the court some questions and the he had provided written answers after consulting with both the prosecution and the defense.

Wilson added that he did not believe providing additional information on the jury deliberations would be appropriate.

Jurors were instructed to return to their duties at 9 a.m. Thursday morning.


UPDATED- The jury in the first degree murder trial of Seth Techel has been released for the evening.

About 4:30 p.m. Judge Wilson gave the jury the option of continuing their deliberations or coming back tomorrow. Jurors indicated they wished to return in the morning.

They have been asked to be at the courthouse at 9 a.m.

The panel has been discussing the case for about nine hours since they were given the case at about 3:30 Monday afternoon.


UPDATED- Judge Dan Wilson has sent the jury home for the evening. They return at 9 on Tuesday morning to continue their deliberations.


Seth Techel's fate is now in the hands of the jury.

Closing arguments ended just after 3 p.m. this afternoon, Judge Dan Wilson went over the jury instructions with the panel, dismissed the two alternates and told the jury to begin their deliberations.

The jury spent just more than two hours Monday listening to defense attorney Steven Gardner giving his closing statement.

Gardner went down the list of evidence that he says the state failed to either collect or test in their rush to judge Techel.

Gardner returned to what has been the defense's primary theory in the case, that on the morning of May 26, 2012, it was the Techel's neighbor, Brian Tate, that likely killed Lisa Techel.

Gardner pointed out to the jury that he believes law enforcement was as quick to believe Tate was telling the truth, as they were to believe Seth Techel was lying.

â??When the neighbor said I didn't do it, I was asleep, when they had an opportunity to exclude him or not they chose not to. He told us he didnâ??t do it, what else did we need to do,â?? Gardner told the jury.

Prosecutor Andrew Prosser told jurors during his closing statement that there simply was no other person in the world who had motive and opportunity to murder that Lisa Techel.

Prosser argued that the defense claims of a shoddy or incomplete investigation were nothing more than smoke and mirrors to distract them from the fact that Techel's relationship with Rachel McFarland had left the Agency man with lust in his heart and murder on his mind.

He told the jury that the case against Techel simply wasn't that complicated, on that morning in May Seth had lust in his heart and murder on his mind.

Prosser also addressed the circumstantial nature of the state's case.

â??Direct evidence is subject to bias motive, concealment in other words itâ??s not perfect. That's why the judgeâ??s instructions says to you that the law doesn't give any special weight to direct or circumstantial evidence, because sometimes circumstantial evidence is better than direct evidence,â?? Prosser instructed jurors.

There is no telling how long it will take the jury to reach a verdict, when they do, KTVO will have it for you.

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