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Attorney General appeals court's decision to release man convicted of killing IU student

John Myers.JPG
Posted at 10:36 AM, Nov 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-01 10:36:08-04

MORGAN COUNTY — The Indiana Attorney General's Office has filed its appeal of a federal court's decision to release a man convicted of killing an Indiana University student.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on Sept. 30 granted a writ of habeas corpus ruling that John Myers received "ineffective assistance of counsel at trial in violation of his Sixth Amendment rights." The court ordered Myers released from Indiana State Prison in Michigan City unless the Morgan County Prosecutor's Office decides to retry him within 120 days.

MORE COVERAGE | Court orders man convicted in IU student's 2000 murder to be released from prison | Attorney General to appeal court's decision to release man convicted of killing IU student

Myers was convicted in the murder of Jill Behrman, 19, in Morgan County in October 2006 following a 12-day jury trial. He was sentenced to 65 years in prison.

Jill Behrman.JPG

On Wednesday, the Indiana Attorney General's Office on Wednesday appealed the district court ruling to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Morgan County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega previously told RTV6 that his office's decision about whether to retry Myers is on hold because if the appeal is successful Myers' murder conviction will stand.

Behrman disappeared in May 2000 after leaving her Bloomington home to go for a bike ride. Her remains were found three years later.

In the district court ruling ordering Myers' release, the court noted Myers' attorney at the time made false statements to the jury during opening arguments, which that attorney later admitted to in a disciplinary hearing. The ruling also noted Myers' attorney failed to object to "two significant categories of evidence that should not have been presented to the jury."