TECHEL TRIAL: Defense Focuses On Neighbor

The murder trial of Seth Techel entered a third week in Henry County Tuesday morning after the long holiday weekend.

Techel is accused of killing his pregnant wife Lisa at the couple’s rural Agency home in May of 2012.

Attorneys for the 23-year-old defendant called a firearms expert from Missouri. The witness for the defense testified that authorities should have tested Techel for gunshot residue because it could identify or eliminate him as the shooter.

The state argued those tests don’t prove where Techel was at the time of the murder, only where he says he was.

Defense attorneys once again pointed the finger at the Techel’s neighbor, Brian Tate as the shooter.  Tate was involuntary committed to Mary Greeley’s Behavioral Health Unit last September – about four months after the murder.

Techel’s defense says Tate’s mental health, marijuana use and wrongly prescribed medication could have made his condition worse.

“Once the psychotic symptoms cleared a bit with medication, it was clear that he was having racing thoughts, he was talking a mile a minute, he had grandiose ideas in addition to  the paranoid ideas we were seeing.  He could quickly become volatile and agitated,” Mary Greeley Hospital psychiatrist Dr. James Trahan said.

Tate died shortly afterwards from unknown causes.  The state argued his medical records are confidential and he isn’t the one on trial.

Prosecutors also pointed out that Tate’s state of mind in September is not relevant or reflective of his state of mind in May.