Prosecutors say they will seek a new trial against Seth Techel in the shooting death of his wife after a jury ended up deadlocked today. Shortly after 11 A.M. the jurors notified the judge they could not reach an agreement on a verdict. In the court room, Techel’s attorneys filed a motion for a mistrial.
The prosecution did not oppose the motion. The head juror told the court continued deliberations would not lead to a unanimous verdict. Judge Daniel Wilson granted the defense’s motion and the jury was dismissed.
Techel was returned to the Monroe County Jail in Albia. Techel is charged with first-degree-murder and nonconsenual death of an unborn fetus. The shooting took place last May 26th at the couple’s rural Agency home. Throughout the trial the prosecution maintained Techel entered the couple’s home and shot Lisa while she was sleeping.
The prosecution also maintained Seth killed his wife to be with his mistress Rachel McFarland and to avoid paying child support. The defense said Techel was in the shower when he heard a noise came out of the shower and found Lisa had been shot.
The defense also claimed Techel did not pull the trigger saying the Techel’s schizophrenic neighbor committed the crime.
By Mike Buchanan, KBIZ, Ottumwa