Indiana Daily Student

Week two of Daniel Messel's trial begins Monday

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

Daniel Messel, 50, was charged with the murder of 22-year-old IU student Hannah Wilson in April 2015. His trial began last week. Here is a day-by-day recap of what’s happened so far.

Tuesday, Aug. 2 (Day 1)

The jury heard opening statements from the prosecution and defense, testimonies from investigators and emotional accounts from Hannah Wilson’s friends, who talked about the last day they saw her alive.

Stories from several witnesses allowed jurors to piece together Wilson’s last night. She was last seen by two friends, Tyler Dunlap and Alex Wojno, at Kilroy's Sports Bar a little before 1 a.m., when they put her in a cab to go home.

Wilson’s roommate Allison Eschbach heard the front door open at 1:05 a.m. and never heard it close.

Wednesday, Aug. 3 (Day 2)

Some of the people Messel played trivia with earlier that night testified in court. They saw him just hours before Wilson went missing.

One friend testified Messel was wearing jeans, a red shirt and dark shoes. When officers arrested him the next day, Messel was holding a plastic bag with clothes matching that description – some of which contained blood stains.

With lead detective Michael Robbins on the stand, defense attorney Dorie Maryan argued the investigation wasn’t complete or thorough enough. She pointed to the possibility of one of Wilson’s friends being guilty of her murder.

Robbins said both Dunlap and Wojno were “well-alibied.”

Thursday, Aug. 4 (Day 3)

Photos from an autopsy conducted by Dr. George Weir were passed around the jury and displayed in front of the courtroom. They showed close details of Wilson’s head injuries including skull fractures, hair matted with blood and bruises on Wilson’s face, shoulders and hands.

Weir testified that the bruising on the hands could have happened two different ways. Either Wilson was defending herself from an attack or had hit something herself.

Jurors viewed video footage of Wilson’s body at the crime scene. They also saw some of her clothes and Messel’s clothes taken from that plastic garbage bag.

Friday, Aug. 5 (Day 4)

Before jurors entered the courtroom Friday morning, Maryan asked for a mistrial. She objected that some photos presented to the jury weren’t pertinent to the case.

After discussion, Judge Judith Stewart ruled that a mistrial wasn’t necessary.

Later in the day, Stewart allowed the jury to visit the Brown County Law Enforcement Office where Messel’s 2012 Kia Sportage was being kept. Investigators found blood spatter on the inside and outside of the vehicle.

Sgt. Dean Marks testified the blood spatter on the interior drivers side door is consistent with blunt force trauma, which was Wilson’s cause of death.

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