The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 8, 2013

Five witnesses take stand Friday morning at Techel Trial

MT. PLEASANT—Through the morning of the Seth Techel first-degree murder trial on Friday, the defense has called five witnesses to the stand.

The first, Chief Deputy Don Phillips, continued his testimony from Thursday. On May 30, 2012, four days after the death of Lisa Techel, he interviewed Brian Tate, the neighbor of Techel whom the defense says should be more of a suspect than Techel.

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 in them 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.”

The next witness called by the defense was Allison Murtha, manager of forensics with RJ Lee Group, INC. 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 residue tests.

Text Only
Local News
  • 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

  • 15-minutes.png 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 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 color 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 1 Photo

  • 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