The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 1, 2013

Techel friend among Friday witnesses

MT. PLEASANT — Through Friday morning of the Seth Techel trial, two witnesses have been called to the stand by the prosecuting attorneys. Techel is accused of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy in the shooting death of his wife, Lisa Caldwell Techel.

The first, Drew Ballard, 22, of Eldon, had an intimate relationship with Rachel McFarland, 23, of Bloomfield, during the same time as Techel. McFarland and Ballard were, according to him, in a two-year relationship and lived together in Eldon when he found emails on their home computer from a man named Rick Jones.

The emails concerned Ballard, because, according to him, there were a lot of them and because of their content. He told McFarland they needed to have a talk, and they did so in February 2012. Prosecutor Andy Prosser showed the emails as evidence.

After Ballard stepped down, Prosser called his next witness, Colten Millard, 22, of Agency. Millard and Techel had been friends since kindergarten, and he had also known Lisa Techel very well before her death. According to Millard, he would go to the Techel residence very often, even as much as three or four times a week, and he did not have a closer friend at the time than Techel.

The two spent a lot of time hunting and fishing and were both very familiar with guns. Their parents taught them at a young age how to use them safely, and Millard acknowledged that there were several guns present at all times at the Techel residence, including Lisa Techel’s handgun.

Millard was a frequent visitor at the Techel home, whether they were present or not. He kept his blue tick hound dog, Duke, in a shed at the residence and spent a lot of time there shooting guns, playing Xbox and watching television.

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