The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 8, 2013

Nine witnesses testify Friday in Techel trial

(Continued)

In the interview, Tate made references to the Wapello County Sheriff’s office not taking the proper interest into vandalism accounts that he made. Prosecutor Andy Prosser played portions of the recording of the interview for jurors, in which Tate mentioned that officers were not looking into his case, and if they would have been, “none of this would have happened.”

Phillips, at the time of Tate’s comments, thought he was talking about the vandalism on his property, not the murder of Lisa Techel.

“He was explaining to me that if we would have been in the area more, the vandalism wouldn’t have occurred,” Phillips said.

Tate also showed Phillips his collection of guns, which were in a corner of his basement. According to Tate in the interview tape, he had several guns in his home, but none of them were loaded though there were rounds ready to be loaded.

Tate can be heard in the recording saying, “I keep them right there in the corner where I can bail out of bed and get right down here in case someone comes in and starts shooting at me.”

Allison Murtha, manager of forensics with RJ Lee Group, INC., was also brought to the stand. She has training in forensic science and gunshot residue examination and works on approximately 100 cases per year dealing with gunshot residue.

According to Murtha, anytime there is a chance that gunshot residue samples can be taken, they should be. Firearms expert Victor Murillo, who testified Thursday, said they did not carry out a gunshot residue test on scene and that his office does not regularly perform residue tests.

Jeremy Weller and Josh Stevens, two of the reserve officers who found the murder weapon just outside of the Techel home, were questioned by the defense about the weapon placement and their role at the crime scene on May 26 and 27, 2012.

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