In video, Techel denies role in wife’s death
MOUNT PLEASANT (AP) — A former Iowa jail guard on trial for his pregnant wife’s death denied any role in her slaying during a video presented to jurors Wednesday.
The jury watched the video as part of Seth Techel’s murder trial, the Ottumwa Courier reported. It features an investigator questioning Techel about his actions on the morning of his wife’s death.
At one point, Special Agent Chris Thomas tells Techel that evidence collected at the scene points to Techel as the suspect.
“No way. I didn’t kill my wife,” Techel said as he raised his voice. “I didn’t do it. What facts do you have?”
Thomas is seen criticizing Techel for not disclosing his relationship with another woman, as well as details about a neighbor who had accused him of harassment.
Techel is charged with first-degree murder in the May 2012 death of Lisa Techel and their unborn child. She was found shot in their Agency trailer in southeast Iowa. Prosecutors say Techel killed his wife to be with another woman. The defense says the couple’s neighbor may be a suspect.
After the video was over, defense attorney Steven Gardner highlighted the lack of physical evidence collected by investigators. He asked whether authorities inventoried what Seth Techel was wearing the day of the death. He also asked if investigators took skin and fingernail samples. Thomas said no.
Gardner also asked Thomas about his training on collecting gunshot residue. Thomas said he was not specifically trained.
“You don’t even know what laboratory they recommend those kits be sent to,” Gardner said.
Other testimony Wednesday included the state’s medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Lisa Techel. A firearms expert from the state crime lab, as well as a state criminalist, spoke about evidence at the scene.
This is Techel’s second trial. His first ended in a mistrial in March.