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CNHI/Southeast Iowa

July 10, 2014

Judge rejects Techel trial continuance

OTTUMWA — Judge Daniel Wilson has rejected a defense bid to delay Seth Techel’s murder trial.

The motion for a continuance was filed Tuesday and Wilson’s ruling came just a day later. The trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Scott County, so it’s not surprising a ruling came quickly.

Techel is accused of killing his pregnant wife, Lisa, at the couple’s trailer near Agency. Two earlier trials resulted in hung juries.

This isn’t the first such motion filed by Gerald Feuerhelm since he took over as Techel’s attorney. The first, filed two months ago, was also dismissed.

The order also cleared up questions about a deposition scheduled for Tuesday. The court had ordered Techel to be present for the deposition, which is a defendant’s right. Wilson said the defense believed it had found “a new witness,” on Lisa Techel’s cell phone. The motion for a continuance was based in part on the time the defense wanted for review of the witness’ information.

There was a secondary reason, though, which Wilson also rejected. The defense sought a review of Brian Tate’s mental health records by a doctor, which would have required additional time. In overruling that request, Wilson removed it as a possible justification for a continuance.

Wilson did not rule on another defense motion to prohibit the prosecution’s use of an autopsy photo showing the Techels’ unborn daughter. That decision will be made if the photo is offered as evidence at trial.

In other area cases:

• Dimitrious Royal’s request to move his attempted murder trial from Van Buren County was rendered moot when he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and willful injury causing bodily injury. He will serve a two-year and a five-year sentence consecutively.

• Jesse Leon has pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and delivery of an imitation controlled substance. Sentencing is set for July 25.

 

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