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Daniel Messel found guilty in IU student's murder

Posted at 11:40 PM, Aug 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 20:31:40-04

BROWN COUNTY, Ind. -- A Bloomington man has been found guilty of the murder of Indiana University student Hannah Wilson.

A Brown County jury rendered the verdict Wednesday afternoon, finding the evidence showed Daniel Messel was responsible for Wilson's death.

Wilson's body was found in a wooded area of Brown County last year with Messel's cellphone lying nearby. Investigators subsequently found her blood, hair and DNA in Messel's 2012 Kia SUV.

A coroner later determined Wilson died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Messel's attorneys tried to paint their client as the innocent victim of an incomplete police investigation. They also claimed another man may be involved. DNA belonging to an unknown man was found on Messel's shoes and jeans.

Outside the presence of the jury, a witness testified about a 2012 encounter with a man she believed to be Messel.

The judge listened to the testimony, but ruled it was not admissible.

MESSEL COVERAGE | Letters accuse Hannah Wilson's alleged killer of stalking IU's campus for years | Messel has violent past, few years behind bars

After his arrest, police also investigated possible links between Messel and the disappearance of another IU student, Lauren Spierer. 

Spierer disappeared in 2011 after a night of partying with friends. 

RELATED | Mystery of missing IU student Lauren Spierer nets national attention

Police ultimately decided Messel had no connection with her disappearance.