State, defense rest their cases on day six of the Messel trial



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Daniel Messel is led out of the Brown County Courthouse and to a waiting car in Nashville, IN on Friday. Michael Williams and Michael Williams Buy Photos

After six days of evidence presented in front of the jury that will decide the fate of Daniel Messel, the prosecution and defense rested their cases.

Since last Tuesday, the prosecution has attempted to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Messel did kill 22-year-old IU student Hannah Wilson last April. They’ve asked Wilson’s friends, police officers involved in the case, and experts in crime scene investigation to testify in the case.

Michael Raymond, a DNA expert, was the final witness to give a testimony.

Raymond confirmed that pieces of evidence such as Messel’s IU pullover, hairs found in his car and Wilson’s blood stained shirt contained DNA that matched that of Messel and Wilson.

DNA from an unknown person was also present on the clothing.

Some of the results were stronger than others. The hair found in Messel’s 2012 Kia Sportage, which matched Wilson's DNA, had 1-in-8 trillion odds of testing consistent with her.

Other weaker pieces of DNA evidence might have a 1-in-20 chance of being consistent with Wilson’s.

When Raymond stepped down, the prosecution said it rested its case. Defense attorney Dorie Maryan then brought a couple witnesses to the stand.

Anisa Jallal, now working as an EMT in Fishers, Indiana, was Wilson’s best friend. She had known Wilson for 11 years at the time of her death.

Jallal testified she did not see Wilson on April 23, 2015, the night before she went missing. Around 1:30 a.m. the next morning, Jallal walked past Wilson’s residence on 8th Street on her way home from Brothers Bar and Grill.

Jallal testified she didn’t notice anything unusual about the house, but it was also “very dark” and she was chatting with a friend at the time.

Following Jallal’s testimony, the defense called Tony Dobbs to the stand.

Dobbs, 19, of Brown County, reported to police officers he had seen two suspicious individuals standing outside a white pickup truck near the crime scene on Plum Creek Road last April.

Maryan argued investigators hadn’t properly followed up on Dobbs’ tip. However, Dobbs later told police that what he saw was Saturday morning, April 25, not the morning Wilson’s body was found.

Messel’s father was in the courtroom Tuesday but did not testify. The defense rested its case.

Judge Judith Stewart asked the jury back at 9 a.m. Wednesday for closing statements. Jury deliberation and a verdict will follow.

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