The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 13, 2013

Techel trial: Defense rests, prosecution gives closing argument

MT. PLEASANT—Wednesday morning was the start of the biggest day in the Seth Techel murder trial.

When the jury entered the courtroom around 10 a.m., the defense started wrapping up its case six days after it started.

After defense attorney Steve Gardner stated, “The defense rests,” the prosecution had a chance to provide a rebuttal, but there was none. Judge Daniel Wilson proceeded to give instruction to the jury about how to come to a decision and what evidence they can consider in their decision.

Once instruction was given to the jury, the prosecution gave their closing argument. Prosecutor Andy Prosser made the case that Techel, and only Techel, is the one guilty in the case based on the evidence provided.

“There is a pile of evidence in this case that it is the defendant,” Prosser said. “The defendant was the only one there. There is no other evidence that anyone else was there.”

He said no one except for Techel had a reason to murder Lisa Techel because of the relationship Techel had with Rachel McFarland. Their relationship was very intimate and kept a secret from Lisa Techel as long as it could have been.

Prosser pointed to the increasing provocativeness of the emails and text messages between Techel and McFarland as being somewhat of a countdown to Lisa Techel’s murder. On May 24, just two days before the murder, Techel told McFarland he was cutting things off with his wife so they could be together, and the two used strong language while texting and emailing.

It was also documented that Techel mentioned he couldn’t divorce his wife because of child support, since Lisa Techel was pregnant, and because Todd Caldwell, Lisa’s father, was getting Techel a job. Since he could not divorce his wife, the prosecution has argued, Techel had to get her out of the picture in another way so he could be with McFarland.

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