The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 1, 2013

Three witnesses take the stand in Techel trial

(Continued)

Millard and Techel had to do repair work to the shed where Duke was kept, and that is when Millard confronted him about McFarland. They had a conversation about Millard’s feelings about the Techel and McFarland relationship and how he did not approve.

“I told him that he was stupid and he needed to stop,” Millard said. “He knew it was stupid. He shook his head, like ‘I know.’”

He also was asked by defense attorney Steve Gardner whether or not Techel ever talked about the baby the Techels were expecting. According to Millard, Techel seemed excited about the baby, even when he was told it would be a girl.

“He didn’t care what it was; he just wanted it to be healthy,” Millard said.

Gardner asked Millard whether or not Techel seemed upset when he was told the baby would be a girl, to which Millard stated, “He was kind of disappointed; he wanted a boy, but he was still happy.”

On the day of Lisa Techel’s death, Millard was on a fishing trip and had asked Techel to take care of his dog while he was gone. Techel never replied to Millard’s text, but he left the dog with them since that’s where it was kept. When he got the call about the death, he went to the home to get the dog and was met by officers who were already on the scene.

The last witness of the day, Michael Halverson, was called just before the court recessed for lunch. Halverson, who works for the Iowa DCI Criminalists Laboratory in Ankeny, was the lead criminalist on the scene on May 26 and 27, 2012, and was responsible for documenting and photographing anything found at the scene.

According to the notes that he took during May 26, he got a call about the case at 7:27 a.m., and after reporting to the DCI Crime Lab, he drove in the specialized crime scene truck to Wapello County, arriving at the Sheriff’s Department at approximately 10:30 a.m. At the Sheriff’s Department, he was briefed on the case and went to the crime scene, arriving at approximately 11:54 a.m. At the scene, he met with officers, did a preliminary walkthrough of the scene and started documenting and taking photos.

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