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TECHEL RE-TRIAL: Defense Lays Blame On Neighbor

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After a week of testimony, the state rested its case against Seth Techel Thursday.

Prosecutors called more than 20 witnesses in their attempt to prove that Techel shot and killed his pregnant wife Lisa last May. They claim Techel not only had motive, but access to the murder weapon. The shot gun came from inside his home.

But Techel’s defense says an intruder committed the murder.

Techel may be the one trial for murder, but Thursday, the jury heard more about another man.

The couple was having problems with a neighbor, Brian Tate. Techel’s attorneys say Tate, who died last September, was schizophrenic and described him as armed and dangerous.

“He was different. In fact, I always thought he was odd and he was even a little weird at times.  I didn't always feel comfortable around him,” longtime neighbor Drucilla Chickering described.

Her husband, Jack, didn't think of him as dangerous. “I wasn't too concerned for myself or anybody else as far as that goes, but, cuz I never did have any difficulties with him,” Jack Chickering testified.

But the Chickerings called authorities about a conversation with Tate after the murder.

“He said ‘if the sheriff's department had done their job, none of this would ever have happened,’” Jack said.

But there was no further explanation and attorneys can't ask Tate to explain either.  He died last September.

But investigators did interview Tate after the murder. During a taped interview shown to the jury, Tate said he was asleep at the time of the murder. When asked if he had anything to do with Lisa’s death he replied, “No I didn’t.”

Testimony for the defense is expected to last five days.