Indiana Daily Student

Daniel Messel found guilty of murdering Hannah Wilson

The Brown County jury found Daniel Messel guilty of the murder of Hannah Wilson.

Wilson was an IU student when she was killed April 24, 2015.

When the verdict was read aloud by Judge Judith Stewart, audible sighs could be heard across the courtroom from Wilson's family as Messel remained still.

Robin Wilson, Hannah's mother, reached behind the bench to her daughter Haley and whispered something to her and gave her a hug.

After the proceedings, Robin publicly thanked the prosecution for their work on the case.

“I also thank Mr. Roberts and Ted Adams for their hours of sacrifice so we could ensure the conviction that we received,” Robin said. “So that Hannah’s death is a little less painful.”

Prosecutor Ted Adams also thanked his co-counsel and the entire Indiana State Police for their investigation. After two intensive months of work, Adams said he is excited to see his family again.

“My wife was a single mom for the last two months,” Adams said. “I miss my kids. I’m excited to get home with them.”

With all jurors agreeing with Messel's guilt, the trial moved into phase two where they found Messel as a habitual offender.

This will add anywhere from an additional six to 20 years to Messel's murder sentence. He already faces a minimum of a 45-year sentence and maximum of 65 years for the murder.

With the habitual offender status, he could be sentenced up to 85 years, which Adams said his team is absolutely pursuing. His sentencing hearing is set for 1 p.m. Sept. 22.

Though Adams thanked his fellow prosecutors and ISP for their hard work on the investigation, he said he wants people to remember Hannah as a hero.

"Her final act, the fighting, the struggle we talked about in her case allowed us to secure this conviction because she was able to get that cellphone to drop onto the ground which led to everything," Adams said. "I think we need to remember that — her final heroic act."

Adams said he believes the jury did the right thing, that they listened to the evidence and that he is happy with the result.

“I’m very happy and glad I could get something done for Hannah,” Adams said. “I’m glad we got something. Obviously it’s not Hannah, but it is some justice.”

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