The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 16, 2014

Techel's graphic text messages reveal more infidelity

DAVENPORT — The girlfriend of Seth Techel, 23, a Wapello County man accused of killing his wife Lisa, testified today that she thought Techel was going to ask his wife for a divorce.

Rachel McFarland, who met Seth Techel at Job Corps, where they both worked, said she was in love with him.

Techel sat today in court with his defense team, which includes court-appointed attorneys Jake Feuerhelm and Roger Owens of Des Moines. Prosecuting the case are Assistant Attorneys General Scott Brown and Andrew Prosser, who have prosecuted the case since its beginning.

Techel faces charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy after his pregnant wife, Lisa Caldwell Techel, was shot and killed in the couple’s mobile home near Agency in May 2012.

This is the third time that Judge Daniel Wilson has presided over Techel’s trial after Wilson first was assigned the case in July 2012. Each of the first two trials, in Wapello and Henry counties, ended as mistrials because of a hung jury.

During testimony today, the jury saw and heard aloud dozens and dozens of text messages between McFarland and Seth Techel — up until hours before and hours after Lisa Techel was shot dead.

Techel's texts were sometimes quite sexual with extremely graphic language and some photos of his private parts. He said in one text to McFarland that he dreamed about her and tells her he misses her.

An angry Lisa Techel had called McFarland and asked her not to talk with Seth Techel anymore, McFarland said. Later Seth Techel bought a Trac phone after asking McFarland if she would talk to him if he purchased one. She agreed.

McFarland said she and Seth Techel met in Pioneer Ridge nature center where they kissed and hugged each other. At one point, McFarland asked Techel how he was going to end his marriage.

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