The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 17, 2014

Jury hears Techel name suspect

DAVENPORT — The father of Lisa Caldwell Techel, who was slain by a single gunshot, testified today that he knew his daughter and her husband, Seth Techel, 23, had problems with a neighbor Seth Techel later named as a suspect in her killing.

Techel faces charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy after his pregnant wife was shot and killed in the couple’s mobile home near Agency, Iowa, May 26, 2012.

In a recorded interview with Wapello County Deputy Jeff Layton, Seth Techel, 23, breaks down and sobs when he talks about his wife and their unborn child. Later, in a lengthy interview with Chris Thomas of the Division of Criminal Investigation that the jury heard this afternoon, Techel also names Brian Tate, who now is deceased, as a suspect in her murder.

Todd Caldwell, the father of Lisa Caldwell Techel, told the Techels that Tate had complained about dog feces and rocks thrown on his property, and that they were “acts of terrorism” because they scared Tate. Seth Techel never took the blame for these acts, although earlier this week his friend Tyler Batterson testified Techel knew about them and had asked Batterson to “mess with” Tate.

Caldwell said he didn’t give much credence to Tate’s reports, although he thought perhaps Seth Techel’s friends might have thrown beer cans on the Tate property. He said he was aware that there was a squabble between the Techels and Tate and warned the Techels that Tate had a gun.

Caldwell told Techel that Tate decorates for Memorial Day. In the 2012 interview with Thomas, Seth Techel says that a small American flag suddenly appeared on a fencepost.

For hours — in fact, until court recessed in the late afternoon — the jury listened to and watched the tape of Thomas, who interviewed Techel in the presence of Wapello County Deputy Jeff Layton, who testified earlier in the Thursday.

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