The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 1, 2013

Three witnesses take the stand in Techel trial

MT. PLEASANT — Day three of testimony in the first-degree murder trial of Seth Techel was filled with three witnesses, all called to the stand by the prosecution and then cross-examined by the defense.

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 the content concerned him as well. He told McFarland they needed to have a talk and did so in February 2012. Prosecutor Andy Prosser showed the emails as evidence.

After Ballard stepped down, Prosser called his next witness, Colton 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.

According to Millard, he was aware of the relationship between Techel and McFarland and of the second phone Techel used to converse with her. Techel told him the phone was for business and showed Millard a picture of McFarland with her shirt off at one point.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Resolution — Techel verdict reached

    DAVENPORT — The father of a slain Wapello County woman said he began to heal as soon as he heard the guilty verdict today. The jury unanimously pronounced Seth Techel, 23, guilty on charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a h

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0725 OTT Seth Techel mug RESOLUTION DAVENPORT — The father of a slain Wapello County woman said he began to heal as soon as he heard the guilty verdict today.The jury unanimously pronounced Seth Techel, 23, guilty on charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a hu

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0725 OTT Riverfront design A new outlook on Ottumwa OTTUMWA — A "River Renaissance" is brewing in Wapello County. Planners working for Christian Rushing Studio from Tennessee took the public's ideas, and gave them life via maps, numerical projections and artists' renderings. "Hold onto your seats; you

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0725 OTT Sports EBF softball cover photo EBF advances to State Finals FORT DODGE — Fifth-ranked Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont had a very tough task in front of itself in a Class 2A semifinal Thursday at the state softball tournament at Rogers Park. All the Rockets had had to do was beat top-ranked Highland to reach thei

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Police to parents: check kids' online activities BLOOMFIELD — The Bloomfield police chief says the arrests of nine men in connection with sexting a teenage girl underscores the need for parents to keep an eye on their children online. Chief Shawn Armstrong said cases involving one or two people are

    July 24, 2014

  • 0725 OTT birthday rumble -T -M Age 106, still ready to rumble OTTUMWA — With the stories flowing, Celma Birdsall had the ride of her life Thursday. "She shared a lot of memories," said her chauffeur for the day, Dennis Parrish. Birdsall has built up a lot of stories over the 106 years she's been around. After h

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0725 OTT College Connections color photo -T -M IHCC eases transition to college OTTUMWA — When choosing a college that's just right for you, it is important to find one that works its hardest to ensure your success as a student. Indian Hills Community College is doing just that this week with a College Connections Workshop spons

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Techel found guilty on both counts

    DAVENPORT — Jurors have found Seth Techel guilty in the 2012 murder of his wife, Lisa, and the couple’s unborn child.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Victim advocates: Helping families cope

    DAVENPORT — Family members of a slain Wapello County woman have someone to lean on — literally and figuratively — while they sit through a murder trial for the third time. Seth Techel, 23, is on trial in Scott County, Davenport. He faces charges of fi

    July 24, 2014

  • 0725 OTT Five Things logo -L -T Five things to do in southeast Iowa this weekend OTTUMWA — There's a wide variety of activities to choose from this weekend in southeast Iowa. Get out and explore the countryside, find some new books to curl up with or help raise money for some great causes. The choice is yours — pick one or attend

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook