TECHEL TRIAL: Opening Statements Heard

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Thursday the jury heard opening statements in the trial of Seth Techel.

Techel is charged with first degree murder and non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy for allegedly shooting his pregnant wife.

After two days of selections the jury was seated, and were ready to hear both sides give their opening statements.

In a move that caused major debate, the defense played the 911 call Seth Techel made last may during opening statements.

“Wapello County 911 what's your emergency?  I need an ambulance at 8723 Foxhills Road, Agency.  My wife's been shot,” said Techel in the recorded 911 call.

Techel is accused of shooting his wife, Lisa who was five months pregnant at the time.

The prosecution told the jury Techel killed his wife to cover up an affair he was having with a co-worker.

“When you listen to all the evidence in this case and see all the exhibits there will be only one conclusion you can make and that was, that was the defendant who committed these terrible, horrific crimes against his wife for the oldest reason in the book love and lust,” said Prosecutor Andrew Prosser.

Prosecutors claim Techel wanted to leave his wife, but didn't want to pay child support.

They also say Techel used a disposable phone to communicate with his lover and cited several sexually explicit text messages between the two.

The defense claims, it was a random shooting.

Techel's attorney says the emotion in his client's voice during the 911 call is proof he didn't pull the trigger.

“You be the judge of whether that sounds like someone who has just done a cold and calculated plan,or a man who is in shock and panic,” says Techel’s attorney Steve Gardener.

The defense is relying on the fact that no physical evidence was ever found linking Techel to the crime.  They also dispute the prosecution's claim of an affair.

“Rachel says he kissed her, but there was no affair, there was no sex, and Rachel will confirm that,” says Gardener.

The trial will resume Friday afternoon with the state calling its first witness.

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