- Associated Press - Thursday, June 2, 2016

NASHVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A trial for a man accused of killing a 22-year-old Indiana University student likely will be held in Brown County despite his lawyer’s concerns about a biased jury after a judge declined to move it elsewhere.

A group of 29 Brown County residents were called to court Wednesday to serve as test jurors so Judge Judith Stewart could determine whether jurors from another county should be selected for Daniel Messel’s trial, The (Bloomington) Herald Times (https://bit.ly/25CGjCP ) reported. Stewart questioned each person individually and then determined that she’s confident a fair and impartial jury can be selected in Brown County.

“There was a high enough percentage who had heard nothing or were not affected by pretrial publicity that the motion will not be granted and will continue to be held under advisement,” the judge said. “I heard nothing here today to make me think we need a change of venue.”

Almost all of the people questioned said they could set aside what they had heard or read in media accounts if they were chosen to be jurors in the case.

Messel, 50, of Bloomington is charged with murder in the April 2015 beating death of Hannah Wilson of Fishers. Her body was found about 10 miles northwest of Indiana University’s Bloomington campus.

Messel’s attorney wants a change of venue because she’s concerned that Brown County residents might know about Messel’s criminal history, which includes convictions and prison time for violence against women, and might have heard suggestions that Messel could’ve been involved in the unsolved 2011 disappearance of another Indiana University student, Lauren Spierer.

Messel’s trial is set to begin Aug. 1.


Information from: The Herald Times, https://www.heraldtimesonline.com

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