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State says man convicted in Jill Behrman murder should not go free

U.S. Court of Appeals must decide the matter
Behrman, Jill.PNG
Posted at 9:08 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 21:08:30-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Attorney General says the man convicted in the murder of I.U. student Jill Behrman received a fair trial and should not be released from prison.

The state Wednesday filed with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago its official response in its appeal of a lower court ruling that says John Myers did not get a fair trial and should go free.

It's a complicated legal case in which his lawyers contend Myers, who was convicted by a jury in 2006 of murdering Behrman, did not receive a fair trial because his attorneys at the time did a poor job representing him.

A U.S. District Court judge agreed and last September ordered Myers released from the State Prison in Michigan City. That set in motion the state's appeal to the higher court in Chicago.

The office of Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill issued a statement Wednesday: "We are confident that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will agree with us and the Indiana state court system that John Myers received a fair trial and his defense counsel was not ineffective at trial. We look forward to the court's eventual ruling in this important case."

Jill Behrman was a 19-year-old Bloomington resident and I.U. student when she disappeared in May of 2000 after leaving her Bloomington home to go for a bike ride. Her remains were found three years later.

Myers was eventually arrested and charged in her murder and convicted by a Morgan County jury. He was sentenced to 65 years in prison and he remains behind bars in Michigan City while the appeal of the release order makes its way through the courts.

It's not clear when the appeals court in Chicago will issue its ruling.