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Judge Awards $2,500 For Defense To Hire Investigators In Murder Trial
Updated November 11, 2015 7:55 AM | Filed under: Crime
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daniel messel.jpg
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(NASHVILLE) - Brown County Circuit Judge Judith Stewart appropriated $2,500 so Daniel Messel's defense attorney can hire investigators and experts who may testify on his behalf at his murder trial.

Daniel Messel is accused of killing 22-year-old Indiana University student Hannah Wilson. Messel is being held at the Brown County Jail without bond. Messel, a printing shop worker from Bloomington, is facing a charge of murder. He was arrested after police found his cell phone near Wilson's body.

Wilson's body was discovered a day after she was reported missing. On April 24 a motorist discovered Wilson's body face-down in a vacant lot at State Road 45 and Plum Creek Road in Brown County.

An autopsy determined Wilson had died from blunt force injuries to the back of her head.

Judge Stewart appropriated the additional $2,500 in public funds for defense attorney Dorie Maryan to pay investigators and experts who may testify on Messel's behalf at his murder trial scheduled for February. Back in May, soon after Messel's arrest, the judge authorized the defense to spend $3,000 for investigative services for Messel after she determined he was indigent. The recent allowance brings the total amount of taxpayer money spent on investigators and experts to $5,500.

Maryan argued last Thursday that 49-year-old Messel's right to a fair trial and to remain silent would be compromised if he is forced to publicly reveal details justifying his need to hire experts and using what those experts find.

But Brown County Prosecutor Ted Adams says that information is relevant and should be part of discovery - the legal exchange of evidence expected to be presented at trial which includes the identity and qualifications of all experts.

Judge Stewart was hesitant to close the hearings and seal the public record saying the justice system is designed to be open and have all parties and the public aware of proceedings. But she granted Maryan's motion, saying she would not reveal details about any decisions to grant funds, but would release the amount allotted.

Messel's next court date is December 14, when the defense attorney, prosecutor and judge will establish deadlines for disclosure of final witness lists and evidence.



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