(Radio Iowa) – July 24, 2014 By O. Kay Henderson
A jury has convicted the south central Iowa man who has gone on trial three times for the murder of his pregnant wife.
Twenty-three-year-old Lisa Techel was shot to death in May of 2012 in the couple’s trailer home in Agency, a small town southeast of Ottumwa. A jury in Davenport has found her husband, Seth Techel, guilty of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy.
Techel’s two previous trials on the same charges were held in Ottumwa and Mount Pleasant — and ended with hung juries.
Techel has said he was in the shower when he heard the shot that killed his wife. His lawyers have faulted investigators for failing to pursue other suspects. Prosecutors point to racy text messages Techel exchanged with a co-worker. In a text sent the day before the murder, Techel promised to leave his wife.
Lisa Techel worked at the Wapello County Jail and her father is a deputy sheriff. Seth Techel worked at a job training center in Ottumwa and had hoped to work in law enforcement, too. On September 8 he’ll be formally sentenced to life in prison — the mandatory term for a first degree murder conviction in Iowa.