The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

October 30, 2013

Testimony begins in Techel retrial


Prosecutors called Ray Schafer, their first witness, after a lunch recess.

Schafer, a retired 911 dispatcher who took Techel's initial call the morning of the murder, said he was in communication with Techel and with law enforcement as events unfolded. Prosecutors played several recordings of 911 calls while Schafer was on the stand. Schafer said he dispatched law enforcement after the initial call.

Paramedic Brian Bennett was one of the first people on the scene. He said he did not immediately see any injuries to Lisa and began CPR on her in the bedroom. Blood and injuries were noticed when he and a deputy moved her to the floor to continue resuscitation efforts.

The defense cross examination touched on several points that may come into play later in the trial. Bennett was asked to describe his vehicle, which Gardner explained as necessary for when the jury sees the video of authorities arriving on the scene.

Gardner also pressed Bennett on the presence of Techel's dog. Prosecutors in Techel's original trial questioned why, when Techel let the dog out the morning of the murder, it showed no sign of anyone trespassing and why Techel never heard the dog barking at an intruder.

“Was that dog aggressive with you?” Gardner asked.“No,” Bennett replied.

Deputy Marty Wonderlin was dispatched to the home by Schafer. He knew Techel. The first introduction came when he was dating Lisa, then got to know him better when Techel was an intern with the department.

Brown asked whether Techel was trying to join the department.

“He was,” Wonderlin replied. “He had been hired. He was scheduled to begin work as a jailer at the Wapello County Jail.”

Prosecutors made a point of Techel's interest in a law enforcement career during their opening arguments, saying divorce could have created opposition from Lisa's father, Todd Caldwell, which could have damaged Techel's prospects of becoming a deputy. Caldwell served as a sheriff's deputy.

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