Sheriff doesn’t anticipate charges
Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar said today that he had told jailer Jason Tinnes that they would have to have a talk after the Seth Techel court hearing is over, but today Dunbar said that no charges against Tinnes are planned.
During the third trial of Techel, accused of first-degree murder in the death of his wife and Washington County jailer Lisa Techel and their unborn child, Dunbar took the stand Tuesday. He said that the attorneys had asked him about contact with an investigator from Wapello County during the investigation. According to the Associated Press, Washington County jailer Jason Tinnes admitted on the stand that he had an affair with Lisa Techel. Seth Techel’s lawyers said investigators had failed to turn over evidence of the affair and had not considered Tinnes as a suspect. Tinnes’ wife testified that he was at home with her at the time Lisa Techel was killed.
“I told Jason that we would not discuss it right now, until the court proceedings are over,” Dunbar said. “After they are over, we are going to have a talk.”
Dunbar said that he does not believe Tinnes will be charged with allegedly lying to an investigator. In court, Tinnes said Washington County investigator Chad Ellis had questioned him and he had not admitted to the affair. Dunbar said today that he didn’t know if Tinnes had lied or not, saying “it depends on how the question was asked.” He said this was one of the issues they had to talk about.
Twice before, Seth Techel has been tried on identical charges and twice a mistrial has been called when jurors were not able to agree on a verdict. Prosecutors allege that on May 26, 2012, Seth Techel shot Lisa Techel, who was 17 months pregnant, while she slept in the couple’s trailer in Agency. The shotgun used in the shooting, which had belonged to a friend of Seth Techel, was found in tall grass on a neighboring property. Prosecutors allege that Seth Techel had shot Lisa Techel because Lisa Techel had wanted to pursue the affair.
Dunbar said that he remembered when Lisa Techel had come in to do the interview for her position as a jailer. He said that she “brightened up the room.”
“It was hard to accept when I found out,” Dunbar said. “Not only had I lost one of my jailers, she was such a likeable person I couldn’t believe anyone would want to hurt her.”
Dunbar said that he believes Seth Techel is guilty of Lisa Techel’s death and hopes this time there is enough evidence to prove it.
“I am hoping for some closure for the family,” he said.