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
  • Overcome testing fear, get a good job OTTUMWA — It's not who you know, it's what you know. That's what City leaders say about getting a good paying job in Ottumwa. "It seems like in the last year we've had a real reduction in the number of individuals who've applied," said Joni Keith, hu

    July 25, 2014

  • Water Pollution Control Facility gets OK to upgrade OTTUMWA — An emergency Ottumwa City Council meeting resulted in spending $140,583 for the Water Pollution Control Facility. Friday afternoon, council members listened intently as Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility Superintendent Kam Reeves told

    July 25, 2014

  • Quincy Ave. project starts Aug. 4 OTTUMWA — Updates on the Quincy Avenue project was given to residents and businesses residing between Albia Road and Hwy. 34 on Thursday night at Ottumwa City Hall. About a dozen people attended the meeting where City Engineer Dan Sturm gave an updat

    July 25, 2014

  • Silence continues on fatal shooting OTTUMWA — Law enforcement is exercising its right to remain silent about a shooting death that occurred south of town this week. The Wapello County Sheriff's Office, which had responded to the shooting, said most information on the case would now com

    July 25, 2014

  • 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

  • 0726 OTT cedar creek Gone in a flash

    BLOOMFIELD — Bob Parker got about as close to lightning as you can Friday morning, and came out of it without injury. A line of thunderstorms started moving through southeast Iowa in the early morning hours. Parker was heading to work at about 7 a.m.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0726 OTT Garden Bites III Color Photo -T Garden Bites sees growth BLOOMFIELD — Nearly one month ago, families gathered at Pioneer Ridge Nature Center to plant various vegetables to harvest and eat on Thursday at Garden Bites. The program allows families to get their hands a bit dirty at Pioneer Ridge and plant food

    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

  • 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

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook