The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

October 30, 2013

Testimony begins in Techel retrial

MT. PLEASANT — After two days of jury selection, Seth Techel's retrial on charges of murder and non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy began Wednesday.

Opening statements took the entire morning session, with the attorneys laying out sharply different accounts.

Techel is accused of killing his wife, Lisa, in 2012 at the trailer the couple shared near Agency. His first trial ended with a hung jury. The retrial is taking place in Mt. Pleasant, about an hour east of Ottumwa.

Prosecutors say Techel was the only person with the opportunity and motive to kill Lisa. The defense says investigators failed to adequately pursue other leads, including a neighbor with whom Techel had quarreled.

Prosecutors sought during their opening statements to paint Techel as calculating, saying he took 18 minutes to call 911 after shooting his wife. Scott Brown said Techel needed time to hide the murder weapon and wanted to make sure Lisa was dead.

“Someone who is truly in a panic would not take 18 minutes to call for help,” Brown said.

Brown said the only thing that makes sense in the case is that Techel, one of only two people in the couple's trailer, killed his wife.

“Who murdered Lisa Techel? The evidence in this case will show that it was Seth Techel,” said Brown

Defense attorney Steven Gardner worked to undermine the prosecution's timeline. He said the prosecution's timeline requires Techel to shoot Lisa almost as soon as their alarm went off at 5 a.m. But that doesn't work if Techel let the dog out, talked with Lisa, and then was in the shower for about five minutes before hearing the gunshot, as the defense claims.

“For whatever reason the state did not say anything in their opening statement about fact,” Gardner said.

Gardner also focused on Brian Tate, the neighbor with whom Seth Techel had running disagreements. The defense contends law enforcement knew Tate was dangerous and, in fact, had warned deputies to be cautious when dealing with him. Law enforcement delayed talking to Tate, Gardner said, then ignored what the defense views as suspicious statements.

Text Only
Southeast Iowa
  • Report: Iowa third among states in child well-being DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new national report on the well-being of children ranks Iowa third in the nation, up four places from last year. The Kids Counts report released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation says Iowa ranks first among all states

    July 22, 2014

  • MHP designated a Blue Zones Worksite OSKALOOSA — Blue Zones Project Oskaloosa today announced Mahaska Health Partnership has been named a designated Blue Zones Worksite. Mahaska Health Partnership was designated after completing the necessary items in the Blue Zones Project worksite ple

    July 22, 2014

  • 072214 Medics Skills Photo Local medics advance skills

    Six EMTs from Mercy Medical Center have completed the work necessary to become paramedics.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eddyville gets $1M federal grant for flood project EDDYVILLE, Iowa (AP) — The city of Eddyville is getting more than $1 million to improve its stormwater handling system to protect the city from Des Moines River flooding. The funding, announced Monday by U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, comes from the Federa

    July 22, 2014

  • Art show photo 2 Young artists show work at Oskaloosa Art Center

    OSKALOOSA—Several pieces of art were on display at the Oskaloosa Art Center Friday featuring works by kids in local elementary schools. The artists include those from Kindergarten through eighth grade. Briana Bartlett, who teaches art for elementary

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Fundraiser for soldiers' families approaching

    CENTERVILLE — Justin Zaputil remembers when Master Sgt. Travis Riddick died. The common reactions didn’t feel right. Mourning and then moving on left something undone. It didn’t seem to accomplish what Zaputil and a handful of others wanted. It didn’

    July 21, 2014

  • 072114 Howard Service Photo 2 Hundreds attend Howard graveside services Several hundred men, women and children attended the 11 a.m. Saturday graveside services for Moulton native Staff Sgt. Robert E. “Bobby” Howard at Sunset View Cemetery north of Moulton.Pastor Brian Hargrave officiated. Hargrave talked about why we co

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Patrick Edouard Supreme Court overturns Edouard appeal

    The Iowa Supreme Court has overruled the state appeals court decision on whether a former Pella pastor could be convicted on charges of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blue Zones photo Blue Zones hold cooking demonstration at farmers' market

    OSKALOOSA — Two local chefs gave a cooking demonstration at the Oskaloosa Farmers’ Market Tuesday afternoon to show just what you can do with produce you buy there. Renee Edgar and Michael Glesener set up a portable kitchen on the east side of the cit

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suit: Nursing home not providing information KEOSAUQUA — Plaintiffs in a suit against an area nursing home have accused the defendants of dragging their heels in providing required information. The case involves the family of Mary Sprouse, who died after a fall at the Good Samaritan Society’s f

    July 17, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National