The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 4, 2013

Caldwell: 'I couldn't have been more proud'

MT. PLEASANT — Todd Caldwell, Lisa Techel's father, took the stand at Seth Techel's murder trial Monday to tell jurors about his daughter.

Caldwell, who worked in the Wapello County Sheriff's Department, said he was close to his daughter. They were in daily contact, with calls and text messages. They would occasionally grab lunch together, since Lisa was a reserve deputy.

“I couldn't have been more proud. I couldn't have had a better friend,” he said.

Caldwell teared up briefly while talking about Lisa, but his voice steadied as he was questioned about how he came to know Techel. He frequently looked right at Techel, who sat nearby at the defense table, as he answered.

The morning of the murder it was a dispatcher who sent Caldwell to the trailer.

“A dispatcher called me at home and woke me up. The dispatcher told me I had to get out to Lisa's house, that she had been shot and wasn't breathing,” he said.

Caldwell's instructions at the scene to deputies to “Get him,” were a reference to Brian Tate, he said. The defense has suggested Tate, who lived adjacent to the Techels, is a better suspect in the murder than Techel.

Tate had accused Seth of vandalism. Caldwell interviewed him as part of the investigation. Tate showed Caldwell rocks he said were thrown at his property and a can of dog feces he had collected. Both, he claimed, came were the result of harassment by Techel.

Caldwell didn't believe the accusations.

“What he was saying and what my son-in-law was saying were different. I tended to believe my son-in-law,” he said.

The accusations were true, though. Earlier Monday, Michael Owings told jurors Techel enlisted him to harass Brian Tate. Defense attorney Steven Gardner characterized Owing's actions a “prank.”

Text Only
Local News
  • 0728 OTT ribs in eldon BBQ dinner with a hundred friends ELDON --- This year's Eldon Rib Cook-off was won by three BBQ chefs --- and about 150 hungry visitors. "I was down here last year, too," said Dwayne Yates from Floris, who was biting into his third smoked rib. "I never had a bad one yet." That's what

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mediacom: Rural cable consumers and companies mistreated OTTUMWA --- You may want to add just a racing channel, a court channel or a nature channel to your cable line up. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to buy a "bundle," which, ironically, is what it will cost you here in Wapello County. That's accord

    July 26, 2014

  • Calendar Groups wanting to be included in the Calendar must submit the item every time the group meets, at least three days in advance of the meeting.Send information to Calendar, Newsroom, Ottumwa Courier, 213 E. Second St., Ottumwa 52501 or send email to ne

    July 26, 2014

  • Alternate juror could not have convicted Techel based on evidence DAVENPORT — An alternate juror who was dismissed before Seth Techel, 23, of Agency was convicted of killing his wife and the non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy says the verdict could have been different if she had been in deliberations.D

    July 25, 2014

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Resolution — Techel verdict reached

    DAVENPORT — The father of a slain Wapello County woman said he began to heal as soon as he heard the guilty verdict today. The jury unanimously pronounced Seth Techel, 23, guilty on charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a h

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Overcome testing fear, get a good job OTTUMWA — It's not who you know, it's what you know. That's what City leaders say about getting a good paying job in Ottumwa. "It seems like in the last year we've had a real reduction in the number of individuals who've applied," said Joni Keith, hu

    July 25, 2014

  • Water Pollution Control Facility gets OK to upgrade OTTUMWA — An emergency Ottumwa City Council meeting resulted in spending $140,583 for the Water Pollution Control Facility. Friday afternoon, council members listened intently as Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility Superintendent Kam Reeves told

    July 25, 2014

  • Quincy Ave. project starts Aug. 4 OTTUMWA — Updates on the Quincy Avenue project was given to residents and businesses residing between Albia Road and Hwy. 34 on Thursday night at Ottumwa City Hall. About a dozen people attended the meeting where City Engineer Dan Sturm gave an updat

    July 25, 2014

  • Silence continues on fatal shooting OTTUMWA — Law enforcement is exercising its right to remain silent about a shooting death that occurred south of town this week. The Wapello County Sheriff's Office, which had responded to the shooting, said most information on the case would now com

    July 25, 2014

  • 0726 OTT cedar creek Gone in a flash

    BLOOMFIELD — Bob Parker got about as close to lightning as you can Friday morning, and came out of it without injury. A line of thunderstorms started moving through southeast Iowa in the early morning hours. Parker was heading to work at about 7 a.m.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook