- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - A woman who was romantically involved with an Iowa man charged with killing his pregnant wife testified Wednesday during his trial that she thought he would ultimately leave his spouse.

Rachel McFarland said she was in love with Seth Techel and communicated with him electronically about their plans to be together, the Ottumwa Courier reported (https://bit.ly/1yt8Vu9 ). She said she also encouraged him to ask his wife for a divorce.

Jurors saw and were read aloud dozens of text messages between McFarland and Techel. Some were sexual and included graphic language. Others had photos of Techel’s genitals.

McFarland, who had worked with Seth Techel, said his wife, Lisa Techel, had asked her to stop communicating with her husband. Seth Techel later gave McFarland a separate phone for them to talk, she testified.

McFarland said she asked Seth Techel to leave his wife. Techel told her in a text message to give him two weeks, according to the newspaper.

Some messages were sent hours before Lisa Techel was found dead in May 2012 in the couple’s mobile home near Agency. She was five months pregnant.

McFarland said she messaged Seth Techel after she heard of the death and said she was there for him as support.

Seth Techel, 23, is charged with first-degree murder and nonconsensual termination of a human pregnancy in the shooting death. His first two trials ended in hung juries. He has pleaded not guilty.

Persecutors said during opening statements Tuesday that Seth Techel wanted to kill his wife so he could pursue a relationship with McFarland. Defense attorneys said he was the victim of a biased investigation by the Wapello County Sheriff’s office because Lisa Techel’s father was a longtime deputy.


Information from: The Ottumwa Courier, https://www.ottumwacourier.com

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