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
  • No Headline Provided Today ... A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3 p.m. Mostly sunny, with a high near 94. Heat index values as high as 107. Breezy. Tonight ... A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low

    July 22, 2014

  • Bill OK'd for data recovery OTTUMWA — Almost a month ago, the city’s Engineering Department’s server failed. After receiving and installing the necessary parts, attempts to restart the server failed, resulting in a drive being shipped to Data Recovery Services in St. Louis in h

    July 21, 2014

  • Man killed in Wapello County BLOOMFIELD — A man was discovered dead Monday of a gunshot wound in rural Wapello County. However, no further danger related to the shooting is expected. Authorities aren't giving full details of the incident, but a press release said that at 1:21 a.

    July 21, 2014

  • Forensic scientist: Residue doesn't determine who fired gun DAVENPORT — A forensic scientist who testified today in the trial of a Wapello County man accused of murdering his wife said that gun residue should be collected if possible. Seth Techel, 23, is on trial in Scott County, Davenport. He faces charges o

    July 21, 2014

  • Welding academy at Cardinal becomes reality ELDON — Many high school seniors find themselves making the decision to pursue college coursework or enter the work force upon graduation. A new program at Cardinal High School (CHS) eliminates this decision by offering courses that will allow studen

    July 21, 2014

  • Water requires extra caution OTTUMWA — Two area drowning deaths in two weeks have authorities focused on the topic of water safety. The Ottumwa Fire Department's Master Firefighter Bill Keith has trained with watercraft and performed multiple river rescues. This week, he said, h

    July 16, 2014

  • Plea settles kidnapping case OTTUMWA — An Ottumwa man originally charged with kidnapping will not serve prison time after a plea bargain to a lesser charge. Adem Anota received a sentence of one year in jail with credit for time served and the balance suspended after pleading gu

    July 16, 2014

  • 0722 stick horse color photo -L -T -M 4-H Expo encourages creatitivy OTTUMWA — Typically during the 4-H Expo, horses are kept at the horse arena in Ottumwa Park, but Saturday kids galloped around Bridge View Center on homemade stick horses. Children at the expo spent Saturday morning creating their own cowboy vest and

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gunshot victim found dead BLOOMFIELD — A man was found dead of a gunshot wound in rural Wapello County. However, no further danger related to the shooting is expected. Though authorities aren't giving full details of the incident, a press release said at 1:21 a.m. Monday the

    July 21, 2014

  • NEST program educates parents OTTUMWA — With any new job, you typically go through a training period that prepares you for the future. The Wapello County Iowa State Extension Office is offering both first-time and experienced parents helpful training through its NEST program. NES

    July 21, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook