(MARTINSVILLE) - John Myers, who was convicted of killing Jill Behrman in 2000 has spent more than six years at the Indiana State Prison for a murder he says he did not commit, blaming his conviction in the killing of 19-year-old Jill Behrman in part on his lawyer's ineffective representation.
Two attorneys from the Indiana Public Defender's Office assigned to Myers' case have been working to construct an appeal of his 2006 conviction for murder. What is called a petition for post-conviction relief can be filed in cases where defendants claim their lawyers failed to adequately represent them. According to the statute, a judicial case review is available when "there exists evidence of material facts, not previously presented and heard, that requires vacation of the conviction or sentence in the interest of justice."
Myers' post-conviction relief hearing before Morgan Superior Court Judge G. Thomas Gray began in April 2013 in Martinsville. The Judge has yet to make a ruling in the case.
Myers, now 37, was indicted by members of a grand jury who heard testimony from nearly 100 witnesses before handing down a murder charge. A sequestered jury then listened to mostly circumstantial evidence during a two-week trial before finding Myers guilty. His sentence: 65 years, the maximum prison term for murder in Indiana. Myers' earliest possible release date is April 7, 2038, 25 years down the road.
Behrman, who grew up in Bloomington, disappeared while on a long bike ride on May 31, 2000. Frantic family members and friends, and an entire community, searched for months, then years.
Then, nearly three years after the Indiana University student went missing, a father and son out turkey hunting discovered Behrman's skeletal remains in a wooded area near Paragon. Shotgun pellets were found inside her skull and at the scene. She had been shot to death. She would be 32 years old if she had lived her attack.
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