Jurors in the first degree murder trial of Seth Techel began to hear testimony about the contentious relationship between the Agency, Iowa man accused of murder and his neighbor, Brian Tate, as the second week of Techel's murder trial opened Monday morning.
The defense contends that it was Tate, not Techel who killed Lisa Caldwell Techel in the early morning hours of May 26, 2012.
Lead defense counsel Steven Gardner has indicated that he will argue that Tate's mental illness caused him to strike out at the neighbor he considered terrorists.
On Monday, prosecutors began to give the jury some insight into why the now deceased Tate might have thought he was being terrorized.
The state called Michael Owings to the stand. Owings was one of four area youth who were involved in vandalism of the Tate property in the weeks before the murder. Vandalism that prosecutors say was committed at Seth Techel's request.
â??He didn't really tell us to do anything, he just told us mess up his yard a little bit so that's all we were going to do,â?? Owings testified.
In this particular case, Owings told jurors that the group dumped buckets of dog feces on Tate's porch.
The day's testimony began with DCI agent Mike Halverson back on the stand for cross examination.
Halverson led the evidence gathering team at the scene.
The veteran agent told jurors that he ignored items like the peanut butter sandwich and a discarded glove found on the porch because in his experience they had no probative value in solving the case.
The defense contends that ignoring such items demonstrates that investigators rushed to judge Techel.
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