The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 1, 2013

Attorneys face off over key testimony


Techel communicated with McFarland on the separate TracPhone prosecutors say he bought to hide his affair. The two young people also spoke on occasion at the workplace, Job Corps Ottumwa, where she assisted with administrative tasks and he worked security. She says he told her to wish him luck, which she felt meant he was going to tell Lisa he was leaving her. Later, he claimed to have told her he wanted to leave, further claiming that she was upset but agreed to pack and move out.

The next day, said Prosser, Lisa Techel was dead.

Wait a moment, challenged Gardner, appearing to be incredulous. A non-sexual affair, asked Gardner, with a woman who had already said she wasn't going to move in together with Techel even if he got a divorce? A woman who Techel knew was expressing interest in another man, whom she is now having a baby with, a woman he'd met with outside of work perhaps five times in their lives, and even that in public, during daylight hours? THAT's the relationship prosecutors want us to believe my client would kill over?

In fact, Gardner went on, why even bring Ms. McFarland into court? Bringing her into the trial must just be a way to show that there was a relationship between Seth Techel and Rachel McFarland, when in truth, she had no direct knowledge of any shooting. McFarland agreed with that.

Earlier in the day, Prosser and Gardner were able to speak with the first deputy on the scene on the day Lisa Techel was killed.

However, Prosser's co-prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Scott Brown objected to Steve Gardner’s questions because they would violate the “hearsay rule.” Gardner seemed to want a witness, one of the deputies, to say in court what someone else had said in the past. Gardner asked if a "Mr. Tate" told him this or that.

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