OTTUMWA – A battle between the Defense and State has commenced, in regard to what can and cannot be mentioned during Seth Techel's retrial. Techel’s lawyer, Steven Gardner, filed a motion on September 4, 2013 that pertains to opening and closing arguments in Techel's retrial. According to court documents, a motion in limine has been filed.
Within the motion, the defense holds that it “reasonably anticipates evidence at trial implicating Brian Tate as the person who committed the crime for which the Defendant is charged.”
Tate, now deceased, was the Techels’ neighbor. In previous court documents, it is stated that Tate referred to the victim, Lisa Caldwell, as “a terrorist.” To read more about this alleged statement, click here
. Caldwell was murdered while pregnant with her daughter Zoe. Techel was Caldwell’s husband and Zoe’s father.
The motion, filed Wednesday, goes on to specify that the defense anticipates the State to argue a similar theme in its opening and closing statements during the retrial as it did in the first trial (February/March 2013).“Defendant reasonably believes that the State of Iowa will attempt to make argument, specifically, and more generally to the effect, as follows:
(a) The State of Iowa does not have reason or evidence to prosecute anyone other than the person responsible or guilty for the alleged offense;
(b) The State of Iowa took all precautions or is confident or sure that the State of Iowa is not prosecuting the wrong person for the offense for which the Defendant is charged.
The above referred to and anticipated arguments of the State of Iowa are improper and subject to proper objection.”
The motion goes on to specify that the Court should “rule such argument to be improper and should preclude and order the State of Iowa from making any argument, comment or statement, in both opening and closing or at any other stage of the trial of this matter.”
At the end of the document, a resolution appears that reemphasizes the defense’s wish to ban references to Techel being the only possible suspect.
“The Defendant moves in limine that the Court bar and prohibit argument, reference or statement to the above matters at any stage of the trial of the above case by the State of Iowa.”
This motion in limine may be prompted by the State’s motion to in limine reference to the prior trial of Techel and the result of a hung jury. Read more about that motion, and others by clicking here
. The Post will be providing extensive trial coverage throughout the proceedings. Managing Editor Pam Credille will be present each day of the trial.