John Myers, the man convicted in the 2000 murder of IU student Jill Behrman will remain in jail and serve the remainder of his 65-year sentence after a court filing made a little less than a year ago, which called for Myers’ release, was reversed by a Tuesday ruling.
In September 2019, U.S. District Court Judge James Sweeney ordered that Myers be released, stating he received ineffective counsel from attorney Patrick Baker during the 2006 trial. The order gave a 120-day deadline for his release, which was later extended based on a subsequent order from the Indiana attorney general.
The Indiana Attorney General’s office filed an appeal on the September order and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals met May 26 to hear the appeal. While awaiting the appeal decision, Myers filed to be released citing fear of contracting coronavirus. It was not granted. The court returned its decision Tuesday to reverse the writ of habeas corpus.
“While we are quick to acknowledge counsel’s errors, we are confident that the defense theories that they impacted were sufficiently undermined, if not overwhelmed, by evidence presents at trial,” the decision read. “Any impact from those errors on the jury’s verdict pales in comparison to the strength of the evidence the state presented against Myers.”
Jill Behrman’s mother, Marilyn Behrman, said she felt relieved when she received the news from the Indiana Attorney General's office mid-day on Tuesday. She shared how she thinks Jill would feel about the decision.
“I think she’d be glad to know that justice has been served,” Marilyn Behrman said. “And she’d be happy for all of us to not have to think or worry about it as much or think about it.”