Daniel Messel’s appeal against the state of Indiana for his conviction for murdering IU student Hannah Wilson was denied in a ruling from the Court of Appeals on Thursday.
Judge John G. Baker upheld Messel’s conviction of 80 years of imprisonment. The Indiana Court of Appeals found no error in the trial and that Messel’s sentence was appropriate, according to a court ruling.
In his appeal, Messel, represented by attorney Kurt Young, argued that the court erred by admitting evidence that he had once possessed a mag flashlight, the suspected murder weapon. He argued that the mag flashlight created a prejudicial effect.
However, the court found no error in the trial, saying: “Given this overwhelming independent evidence of Messel’s guilt, we find that there is no substantial likelihood that the evidence related to his past ownership of a mag light contributed to the conviction,” in the court ruling.
Messel also contended that his sentence was inappropriate given the nature of the offense and his character. However, the court upheld the sentence based on “the appalling nature of this offense” and Messel’s criminal history, which included convictions for criminal mischief, public intoxication, disorderly conduct and other convictions.
Hannah Wilson, a senior at IU, was found dead on April 24, 2015. On April 27, the state charged Messel with murder. Surveillance video, cell phone evidence and DNA evidence was used to convict Messel of murder.
Messel was found guilty of murder on Aug. 10 in 2016. He was sentenced to 60 years imprisonment, with an additional 20 years added to his sentence for being a habitual offender.
Baker’s ruling was upheld by Judges Terry Crone and Michael Barnes. Baker previously served as the judge of Monroe County for 13 years, according to the Court of Appeals of Indiana website.
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