The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

February 27, 2013

12 p.m. Trial update: Murder weapon brought to court

OTTUMWA — Seth Techel's trial on charges of murder and non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy resumed Wednesday after a one-day weather delay.

The trial has twice been interrupted by snowstorms. Judge Daniel Wilson thanked jurors for putting up with the trial's "somewhat erratic schedule," as the day opened.

The day involved some of the most dramatic evidence yet, as prosecutors brought the shotgun they say Techel used to kill his wife into the courtroom and entered a number of crime scene photos into evidence.

Prosecutors walked criminalist Michael Halverson through crime scene photos taken at the Techel home. Halverson is an investigator with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

The photos included the bedroom and Lisa Techel's body. Her family members sobbed quietly as prosecutors showed the photos.

The photos also showed an access panel behind the bed's headboard that led to the shower in the bathroom. The location is important for both sides. Techel says he was in the shower when Lisa was shot. That was important to prosecutor Andy Prosser.

"Literally if a person was in the shower they would be standing in this position on the other side of the wall ... less than the width of the bed," Prosser said.

Processing the scene took more than a day. Halverson said the search of the vehicles, in which the Tracfone used by Techel to contact McFarland was found, was done on the second day.

That second day also led to discovery of the shotgun used to kill Lisa. Halverson said investigators had not found the gun used in the trailer, nor did they find any shell casings inside.

"We were looking for the gun. We knew she had been shot," he said.

A pair of reserve deputies found the shotgun and summoned others. Photos show the tree by which the gun was found had crime scene attached and a gray "X" painted on it. The gun was in tall grass near the tree. One spent round was in the chamber, while four live rounds were in the magazine.

Prosser brought the gun into court for Halverson to identify and entered it as evidence. Halverson identified it for jurors, along with a single, spent shotgun shell recovered from the gun.

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