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The jury has begun deliberations in the Jacob Seelinger murder trial

Posted: Thu, Jul 11, 2019 11:54 AM
Closing arguments began shortly after 9:30 Thursday morning

A jury of seven men and five women began deliberations shortly before noon Thursday in the trial of Decorah resident Jacob Seelinger, who faces first degree murder charges in the death last year of 47-year-old David Hansen of Freeport.

Thursday morning was devoted to closing arguments in the case.  Judge Richard Stochl began by reading instructions to the jury, outlining what the various possible verdicts would mean.

Special prosecutor Scott Brown told jurors that Hansen was beaten by both Seelinger and Jacob's friend, Dalton Adam.  "He was beaten by both men," Brown said, adding, "Dalton Adam never would have been there without Jacob Seelinger."  Furthermore, Brown said Jacob Seelinger kept his mother away from David Hansen so Dalton Adam could hit Hansen some more.

Much of Brown's closing remarks centered on comments made by Calista Seelinger, Jacob's mother.  Brown said in the 9-1-1 call she made to police, Calista said phrases like "they attacked," "both of them" and "I couldn't stop them."  When a deputy arrived on the scene, bodycam video showed Calista saying, "I couldn't keep two big guys off him (Hansen)."  Another police bodycam video taken after Jacob was arrested showed him saying repeatedly, "He (Hansen) beat my Mom."

Defense attorney Jim Metcalf pointed out that when she spoke to police in December, Calista said Jacob didn't hit or kick Hansen.  He said her early comments were made at a time when she had been taking meth for a year and repeatedly drinking as well.  "She was a mess," he said of Calista.  Metcalf concluded by saying "David Hansen died at the hands of Dalton Adam."

In response, Brown told the jury "Dalton Adam is the murder weapon," but said even if Jacob Seelinger didn't strike Hansen, was is guilty of aiding and abetting what he called "a sustained attack" on Hansen.

Two male jurors were dismissed following the closing arguments, since their names were randomly selected as being the two alternate jurors in the panel of 14 people.

Special prosecutor Scott Brown
Defense attorney Jim Metcalf
Judge Richard Stochl