Indiana Daily Student

Jill Behrman’s convicted killer ordered to be released from prison following federal court ruling

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Former IU student Jill Behrman was shot and killed while riding her bike May 31, 2000. Now her alleged murderer, John Myers, may be released from prison.

Myers filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which allows him to go to the federal court to determine whether or not he was wrongfully imprisoned. District court judge James Sweeney said in the 147-page ruling issued Monday that Myers’s attorney, Patrick Baker, did a poor job representing him during the trial. 

In November 2013, Myers was denied a post-conviction relief. The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld his conviction in 2015 and the Indiana Supreme Court did not consider his 2015 appeal.

The Indiana Supreme Court denied his ealier 2008 appeal as well.

Myers was serving a 65-year sentence since he was convicted in 2006.

According to the order granting petition, “Myers’s counsel made false statements to the jury during opening arguments,” which Baker admitted to, and he “failed to object to two significant categories of evidence that should not have been presented to the jury.”

Morgan County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega will have 120 days to appeal the ruling or not. After talking with lead investigator Rick Lang and Berhman’s family, Sonnega will determine how to move forward, according to a Morgan County, Indiana,Prosecutor's Office press release. 

“It is premature to discuss the next step in the case,” Sonnega said in the release. “We are all disappointed.”

This story will be updated.  

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated the writ of habeas corpus was in state court. It is in federal court. The IDS regrets this error.

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