June 16, 2024

Testimony ends Friday in Seley trial

In the Adair County Courthouse where the state is trying Dustin James Seley on a charge of first degree murder in the death of Timothy Charles Fechter, witness testimonies continued in to Friday.

On Thursday, Associate Medical Examiner Michele Catallier testified that Fechter died of a single gun shot to the back of the head. Three other radiating fractures shown in photographs are described as injuries Fechter sustained at the time of his death. Defense attorney Jill Eimermann challenged Catallier’s trajectory claims, showing how a turn of the head or body position can provide a possible way for a bullet to enter the skull. Either way, Catallier maintained Fechter was killed at the hands of another person with a gun pressed to his head.

Mark Ludwick, a lead agent from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said he was first called to the case to interview Fechter’s “significant other” Nicki Jones, and other interviews as assigned. Ludwick and DCI Special Agent Marc Ridout interviewed Seley upon his capture June 29. That recorded interview, which lasted approximately 42 minutes, was played for jurors.

Dakota Brown, an acquaintance of Seley for more than 10 years, said he last saw Seley around the end of June. Seley had come to his house to get gas. During his visit, Brown said Seley talked about what he had done to Fecther. Brown said Seley told him he had put Fechter on his knees, shot him several times and stomped on him. Brown said Seley didn’t talk about what transpired, but that he then got into the car and took off to Fechter’s residence where Seley changed his clothes and slept in his bed. Brown described Seley’s demeanor as “happy.” When asked how he knew Seley was happy, Brown said, “I’ve never seen him so happy before in my life.” Brown admitted he and Seley smoked methamphetamine and within minutes of Seley leaving the residence, DCI showed up. Eimermann read off a list of Brown’s convictions to show motive and bias.

Bobbie Flynn, an exgirlfriend of Fechter’s testified for the defense as a character witness. She was a classmate of Seley’s. She said, during her relationship with Fechter, he was violent toward her, was controlling and manipulative. “He intimidated me. He played mind games every day. I didn’t know if I was coming or going,” she said. Flynn agreed to a statement that Fechter had a reputation in the community to be “quarrelsome, aggressive, violent and assaultive.”

Lori Graham, Fechter and Seley’s sister said Fechter’s and Seley’s relationship wasn’t good and that Fechter was always putting him down, threatening or phyiscally violent toward Seley. She said Seley never lashed out toward Fechter in the same manner and would cower. She said Fechter was that way toward all his siblings, but she still loved him. She said she only learned of the possibility of Fechter being the biological father of Seley’s daughter after Fechter’s death.

Sandy Seley, the mother of Seley and Fechter described the relationship between her sons. “Tim hated DJ,” she said. “DJ would try his hardest to get along with Timmy, do anything he could for him.” Sandy said she was not going to take sides. “I love both my sons and I know exactly what they were like. All I want is the truth to come out.” Sandy said Tim often threatened or was violent toward Seley. She told the court of an instance where she had to get between them and when shoved by Fechter, she suffered “cracked ribs.” “He has a violent temper and weighs about that, too. Pretty much, me and DJ, he stayed away from Tim. That’s the way his relationship was.”

Court will resume 10:30 today at the Adair County Courthouse.



Sarah Scull is native of San Diego, California, now living in Creston, Iowa. She joined Creston News Advertiser's editorial staff in September 2012, where she has been the recipient of three 2020 Iowa Newspaper Association awards. She now serves as associate editor, writing for Creston News Advertiser, Creston Living and Southwest Iowa AgMag.