For the second time, a jury has been unable to reach a verdict in the murder case of Seth Techel, forcing the judge to declare a mistrial.
Jurors received the case late Wednesday afternoon. Friday morning the jury told Judge Dan Wilson they were deadlocked. The judge asked them to continue deliberations but around 1:55 p.m. they sent a note to the judge saying “A verdict will not be reached.”
Around 2:30 p.m. the judge called the prosecution, defense, and jury into the courtroom and asked the head juror how deliberations had been proceeding. He told the judge there had been no change in the vote since the morning.
Judge Wilson again asked the jury to return to deliberations.
Around 4:35 p.m. the judge reconvened court and spoke to the jury again. No change in votes had occurred and a mistrial was granted by Judge Wilson.
Techel was charged with first degree murder and non-consensual termination of a pregnancy in the death of his wife Lisa. She was shot to death at the couple’s rural Agency home in May of 2012.
Prosecutors said Techel killed his wife using a friend’s gun because he wanted to continue a relationship with another woman.
Techel’s defense tried to place blame for the murder on a neighbor the Techels had problems with, who has since died.
The jury in Techel’s first trial was also unable to reach a verdict.
A hearing is being held November 25th in Wapello County to address issues of bond. Techel will remain in custody until then.
It’s unclear whether prosecutors will seek a third trial.