Opening arguments begin in Iowa man's murder trial

Published On: Feb 21 2013 04:03:07 PM CST
OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) -

A prosecutor says a southeast Iowa man suspected of killing his pregnant wife wanted out of his marriage.

The Ottumwa Courier reports Assistant Attorney General Andrew Prosser began his opening arguments to a jury Thursday in the trial of Seth Techel. Techel has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and nonconsensual termination of a human pregnancy in the May death of Lisa Techel.

Prosser says Techel did not want to divorce his wife because he feared alienation from her father, a sheriff's deputy. Both Techels worked in law enforcement. Lisa Techel was a reserve deputy and Seth Techel was a jailer.

Defense attorney Steven Gardner says the state's opening focused on emotionally loaded content and not facts.

Trial proceedings ended early Thursday and will resume Friday.