The defense is expected to wrap up its witnesses this morning and both sides could begin closing arguments today at the Seth Techel murder trial at the Henry County Courthouse in Mount Pleasant.
Late Tuesday, the district judge Dan Wilson heard motions from both sides with the jury not present, and more of that could be expected this morning, as the jury was instructed it would not be back into the courtroom until 10 a.m., while court will resume at 9.
With the jury gone Tuesday, defense attorney Steven Gardner offered proof into evidence regarding the weather that weekend, a burglary of the Techel’s rural Agency home on the day of Lisa Caldwell Techel’s funeral, testimony regarded as “hearsay” by the prosecution, and national weather service reports as to the weather on May 26th, 2012, the day Lisa Caldwell Techel was shot to death while sleeping in her bed.
Earlier on Tuesday, the court heard testimony from Seth Techel’s parents, Doug Techel and Lorraine Uehling-Techel, doctors who treated Brian Tate, a neighbor of the Techel’s, and a firearms forensics expert.
DougTechel testified as to his son’s demeanor that day. On the way to the sheriff’s office for questioning, Doug asked Seth if they should get him a lawyer. Seth told his father, no, that he had nothing to hide. Doug said that Seth seemed sincere and did not appear reluctant to talk with law enforcement.
Two physicians who examined Tate after he was brought into Ottumwa Regional Hospital in handcuffs in September of 2012 described Tate as delusional and hallucinating, and a psychiatrist diagnosed Tate as bipolar and manic-depressive and said he had been on the wrong medication for a very long time. The doctor did say, however, that Tate had no history of violence.
Tate has been cited by the defense as a possible suspect in the murder.
Early Tuesday morning, firearms forensics expert John C. Cayton became the second expert witness to say that a gunshot residue analysis test should have been done in the Techel case. In fact, Cayton stated that such a test is routinely done in cases like this one and could have helped determine Seth’s guilt or innocence.
Closing arguments in the trial are expected to begin today.