Techel's alleged love-interest takes the stand

Seth Techel

The first-degree murder trial of Seth Techel heated up Thursday afternoon as his alleged love-interest, Rachel McFarland, took the stand to testify.

Seth Techel's relationship with McFarland is a key piece of evidence for the prosecution, and something the defense is trying to downplay.

The prosecution used texts and e-mails between Techel and McFarland in an attempt to prove they had a relationship so serious that Seth would kill his wife.

McFarland testified that she met Techel around November 2011 when the two worked for Jobcorp and then became friends.

She said the relationship soon blossomed into feelings of affection for each other, even though Techel was married and she lived her boyfriend.

McFarland said she was aware that Techel's wife was pregnant, which was a constant concern to her. She says Techel intended to get a divorce to be with her.

Eventually, McFarland started talking to another coworker of theirs, much to Techel's dismay.

Still, she said the two continued to talk and feelings remained strong.

About a week before the murder of Lisa Caldwell Techel, McFarland told Seth she was going to stop talking to him, until he talked with his wife about a divorce, which he insisted he would do.

Techel texted McFarland the night before the murder, saying he had broken the news and that Lisa was upset. He also told McFarland to be there in the morning, after Lisa had packed her bags and left.

The last text message they exchanged before the murder was: "I love you".

The defense downplayed the seriousness of their relationship, saying McFarland had multiple suitors during the timeframe. After she broke up with her boyfriend, she almost immediately struck up a relationship with someone else.

They also pointed to the fact that the two never had a physical, sexual relationship; that they had met up in person only four or five times; and the bulk of communication was electronic.

McFarland also said the lewd photos she sent Techel were originally taken for other men.