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Jury chosen in trial of Iowa guard tied to slaying

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 10:52 a.m. CDT

MOUNT PLEASANT (AP) — Jury selection concluded Tuesday in the trial of a former Iowa jail guard charged with first-degree murder in the death of his pregnant wife.

The jury was picked from nearly 100 people over a two-day period. Eight men and eight women were selected, which includes four alternate jurors. Opening arguments were scheduled to begin Wednesday.

A clean-shaven Seth Techel, 23, chatted with his parents and other family during court breaks, The Des Moines Register reported. The family has not spoken to reporters.

Techel, of Agency in southeast Iowa, is facing his second trial for charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy in the May 2012 death of Lisa Techel, who was shot at the couple’s home.

A judge declared a mistrial in March, after a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. The second trial, which was delayed earlier in the year due to a medical problem, was moved from Ottumwa in Wapello County to Mount Pleasant in Henry County after defense attorneys argued about extensive media coverage and publicity surrounding the case.

In the first trial, prosecutors argued that Seth Techel wanted to kill his wife so he could be with another woman. Defense attorneys said a neighbor may have killed his wife.

Both Techels worked in law enforcement. Lisa Techel was a reserve deputy with the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office, and Seth Techel was a jailer.