Prosecution shows photos of dead wife

Seth Techel

UPDATED- A peanut butter and jelly sandwich became the focal point in the first degree murder trial of Seth Techel Wednesday afternoon.

Defense Attorney Steven Gardner was cross-examining DCI Agent Michael Halverson during the afternoon session.

Gardner was less concerned with what investigators found at the scene and more concerned with what the defense says they didn't find, or even ignored.

Halverson acknowledged under cross examination, that investigators did not find blood spatter on appliances or in any of the sinks in the home, nor did they find gunpowder residue on any clothing in the Techel trailer.

Gardner then turned to items found on the porch. The first being a glove that Halverson testified looked like it had been on the porch for some time. The defense seems to believe the real killer, possibly a disgruntled neighbor, left the glove behind.

And then came the sandwich. Crime scene photos showed a sandwich on the porch in a ziplock plastic baggie. Gardner spent nearly 20 minutes asking Halverson to what degree investigators took the sandwich as a clue, including comparing the jelly and plastic baggies to items found in the home.

Halverson was somewhere between bemused and annoyed as the questions on the sandwich went on and on.

"I didn't place a great amount of emphasis on that sandwich that night," Halverson testified.

When pressed as to why he wasn't concerned about the sandwich, Halverson simply told the jury he didn't think it was probative.

The state is expected to continue presenting its case when court resumes on Thursday morning.


The first degree murder trial of Seth Techel got underway again Wednesday morning at the Wapello County Courthouse. Tuesdayâ??s court session was canceled due to weather.

The state continued its case by calling Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation Criminologist Michael Halverson. Halverson told jurors he was part of the two man crime scene investigation unit that collected evidence from the Techel home on the weekend of the murders. Prosecutor Andrew Prosser led Halverson and jurors on a photographic tour of the Techel trailer home on Fox Hills Road.

The room by room tour ended with graphic photos of the master bedroom showing a deceased Lisa Techel in her bed. The photos of the bedroom showed that if Seth Techel was in the shower when his wife was killed, he was only a few feet a way from where the shooting took place.

Halverson also described the search for the murder weapon, and prosecutors entered into evidence a 12 gauge Mossberg shotgun they believe was used to kill Lisa Techel. The first new witness to testify on Wednesday morning was a Micheal Schakel. Schakel was a co-worker of Seth Techel at the Ottumwa Job Corp Center.

He told jurors that sometime in April, after overhearing a telephone argument between the couple, Seth Techel told him it would be easier if his wife just died in a car accident.

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