The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

October 30, 2013

Opening arguments begin in Techel retrial

MT. PLEASANT — After two days of jury selection, Seth Techel's retrial on charges of murder and non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy began Wednesday.

Techel is accused of killing his wife, Lisa, in 2012 at the trailer the couple shared near Agency. His first trial ended with a hung jury. The retrial is taking place in Mt. Pleasant, about an hour east of Ottumwa.

Prosecutors say Techel was the only person with the opportunity and motive to kill Lisa. The defense says investigators failed to adequately pursue other leads, including a neighbor with whom Techel had quarreled.

Scott Brown offered the prosecution's opening arguments, telling jurors Seth Techel is the only reasonable suspect and that the evidence will show he killed his wife.

“Who murdered Lisa Techel? The evidence in this case will show that it was Seth Techel,” he said.

Brown walked jurors through the events leading up to Lisa's death. He said the only real question in dispute is who killed her. Both sides say she was shot and died as a result, two of the elements of first degree murder.

Only Seth and Lisa were inside the trailer when Lisa was killed, Brown told jurors. “Don't ignore the obvious.” He spent considerable time focusing on the 18 minutes prosecutors say passed between when Lisa was shot and Seth called for help.

Brown said that amount of time isn't consistent with someone who is panicked by his wife being shot.

“He's in a hurry. But 18 minutes? What else was he doing in those 18 minutes? Getting rid of the gun?” Brown said.

Defense attorney Steven Gardner sought to refute Brown's opening, saying the case is anything but simple. It will take three to four weeks to get through, he said, which means it are a lot of pieces evidence and complex issues to deal with.

Text Only
Local News
  • Van Buren to share FFA with Harmony KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren Community School Board approved a recommendation from its administration to share the ag program with Harmony for the 2014-15 school year. The decision means that Van Buren students would travel to Harmony to receive ag instruct

    April 16, 2014

  • Attorney withdraws after client disappears OTTUMWA — Authorities are still looking for an Ottumwa man who didn’t show up for court proceedings. When they find him, he’ll need a new attorney. Jacob Nordyke faces charges of interference with official acts and possession of drug paraphernalia. H

    April 16, 2014

  • Waste Management wants to stay in Keosauqua KEOSAUQUA — Waste Management told the city of Keosauqua that it was not interested in ending the contract it has for solid waste and recycling services it provides to the city. A representative told the city mayor that it intends to fulfill the contr

    April 16, 2014

  • Road transfer under consideration KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisors are considering an agreement to transfer the public road known as Iowa 98 from the state to the county. The route is approximately 1.81 miles, and the county will receive $2,310,000, according to the proposed

    April 16, 2014

  • City Council approves sale of properties OTTUMWA — On Tuesday the Ottumwa City Council met for the last regularly scheduled meeting of April. Included in the agenda for the evening were several dispositions of city owned property. Structures and land located at 519 W. Fourth St., 723 E. Mar

    April 15, 2014

  • Where to play OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Community School District wants to discuss moving to another athletic conference. Superintendent Davis Eidahl revealed that the district has been contacted by a smaller sports league, which has extended an invitation to join the

    April 15, 2014

  • 0416 OTT Ron Oswalt mug -T School board member resigns

    OTTUMWA — As this week's school board meeting came to a close, the president read a letter from one of the members. Board President Carol Mitchell read that fellow board member Ron Oswalt was announcing his resignation from the Ottumwa Board of Educa

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chronic wasting disease found in wild deer OTTUMWA — Since 2002, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has collected more than 50,000 samples of captive and wild deer in Iowa in an effort to look for cases of chronic wasting disease. On April 9, they confirmed an infected wild deer had bee

    April 15, 2014

  • Good Shepherd Food Pantry making a difference BLAKESBURG — Good Shepherd Food Pantry in Blakesburg began its third full year of operation this month. Start-up funds included the South Central United Methodist Conference grant of $1,200 and a large cash donation from Hope Well Church in response

    April 15, 2014

  • Council approves sale to Historical Preservation Society BLAKESBURG — Blakesburg City Council on Monday approved sale of the museum property to Blakesburg Historical Preservation Society. The $4,000 bid submitted by BHPS was the only bid received. Terms of the bid include a clause that if at sometime the p

    April 15, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition