The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 1, 2013

Attorneys face off over key testimony

MT. PLEASANT — The defense and the prosecution argued about whether a young woman was a relevant witness in the murder trial of Seth Techel, accused of killing his wife and unborn child.

Rachel McFarland, 23 of Bloomfield, gave what both defense Steve Gardner and prosecutor Andy Prosser acknowledged was difficult testimony concerning details of her love life. And at no point did either side question her honesty in court.

But Gardner asked if at some points, she would agree she had a lot of suitors, young men interested in her attention, and whom she flirted with. It's true, she confirmed, and Seth Techel was one of those young men.

But, questioned Gardner emphatically, that doesn't mean she was having affairs, did it? No, she said, at least not with the married Seth Techel. They did kiss and fondle one another, though it was with clothing on, in public though quiet areas. Touching, she said, stayed outside of the clothing, though it was intimate. McFarland said female parts were touched through the shirt only, and male parts were touched from outside the pants during all the kissing. At one point, the kissing and touching went on for up to half an hour, McFarland acknowledged.

She told Prosser that yes, she did know Seth Techel was married. And she did feel bad about that. In fact, at some points, she told Techel he should try to work things out with Lisa and stay with her, at least until the baby arrived. But McFarland felt she loved him, and he loved her. There were times she'd try to end the relationship, but the two would soon be texting, or Facebooking or emailing flirtatious and romantic messages again. She says Techel told her he would divorce his wife Lisa to be with her. Prosser asked about the days leading up to the shooting of Lisa Caldwell Techel.

Text Only
Local News
  • A change at Evans OTTUMWA — You can get kids to memorize facts. But teaching them to think can take more time. Educational leaders told the Ottumwa school board that the school year that begins 2014 will shift Evans Middle School students from 45-minute periods to 60-

    April 17, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Tree City U.S.A. logo Ottumwa awarded as Tree City U.S.A. again OTTUMWA — Having big, beautiful trees throughout a community can help spruce up a city and make it more attractive to visitors. Ottumwa has shown a dedication to making the community more green and inviting, and the efforts have been recognized by th

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Agriculture Day color photo 2 -T -L -M Cardinal students celebrate Ag Day ELDON — Sometimes the best way to learn is to get out of the classroom and come face-to-face with things that you might not see every day. Students at Cardinal Elementary School got that chance Thursday during Ag Day. Every year, the Cardinal FFA and

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418 OTT Five Things logo -T -L -M Five things to do in southeast Iowa this weekend OTTUMWA — It's a weekend of Easter celebrations, historic events and educational opportunities in southeast Iowa. Many people are gathered together this weekend, and the surrounding communities have scheduled events perfect for the whole family. 1. S

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Joe Tafta bw photo -L -T -M Pursuing opportunities OTTUMWA — Joe Tafta follows the rules. The Simpson College junior hopes to be a U.S. marshal one day, so he’s careful about what he says and does. But not always. On the afternoon of April 1, Tafta says, he nearly got booted out of Dunn Library for m

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418 OTT OEDC director -T Guiding our growth OTTUMWA — An organization designed to help Ottumwa grow has found a new employee in Indiana. The Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) board has chosen Sharon Stroh as the group's new executive director. “We are confident she will hit the g

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Earth day color photo 1 -T -M Cargill celebrates Earth Day by educating ALBIA — In honor of Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, employees from Cargill Eddyville and Cargill Pork are visiting with students at Grant Elementary and Lincoln Center in Albia all this week. On Wednesday the Courier caught up with them as they went

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0417 OTT Saving Center color photo -T -L -M Hedrick building has friends HEDRICK — The community wants a civic center, and they've been willing to work for it. "I'd say we have 15 to 25 volunteers each time," Tommy Smith of Hedrick said. "These are all good people." Smith was volunteering his services at the Easter Brunch

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Southern Iowa farmers preparing for planting OTTUMWA — Even though the winter seemed to linger like Iowa was going through an ice age and cold and wet weather has highlighted the early spring, farmers are starting to get out to their fields to put down fertilizer and get fields ready for planti

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition