51-year-old Daniel Messel was found guilty Wednesday afternoon of the murder of 22-year-old Hannah Wilson. The jurors deliberated for a mere five hours before releasing the verdict. Major pieces of physical evidence played a role in the swift conviction, including Messel’s cell phone at the crime scene and Wilson’s blood on his car and clothing.
Messel’s defense attorney, Dorie Maryan, argued that the state’s case was biased, stating that police did not run a DNA test on a cigarette found at the crime scene. Maryan believes investigators didn’t consider any other suspects.
In April 2015, Wilson’s body was found in a field 30 minutes northwest of the school she attended, Indiana University at Bloomington. She had been beaten.
The murder conviction means Messel could face up to 65 years in jail. He is also considered a habitual offender, which could tack on another 20 years.
Melissa D. Cooper
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