The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 16, 2014

Murder weapon belonged to Techel's friend

DAVENPORT — A shotgun that belonged to a friend of a Wapello County man accused of slaying his wife was the weapon that shot and killed Lisa Caldwell Techel.

The owner of the gun as well as a crime-scene investigator discussed details of the murder weapon today while the accused, Seth Techel, 23, sat in court with his defense team that 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 was shot and killed May 26, 2012, in the couple’s mobile home near Agency.

Lucas Howell, of Agency, had lived for about six months with the Techels. He testified that he remained friends with the couple after he moved to his father’s house, adding that the Techels wanted to use Howell’s room for their baby after it was born.

Howell said Techel brought him a basket of clothes after Howell moved out, but Howell’s 12-gauge shotgun — which he identified in the courtroom — and deer-slug ammunition were left behind.

At the time of Lisa Techel’s death, Howell’s shoulder was immobilized because he was recovering from shoulder surgery, he said. He could not move his arm at that time.

Michael Halverson, a forensic scientist for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, testified about being called to the crime scene. He identified details of various photos that were shown to the jury on a large screen.

Photos included aerial views of the Techel home and surrounding area, outdoor views near the home and the rooms inside the home, as well as images of Lisa Techel’s body as she lay on a bed.

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