Messel Charged With Murder Monday; Trial Set for July 22

Messel Charged With Murder Monday; Trial Set for July 22

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The Brown County Prosector’s office filed a murder charge Monday against Daniel Messel, the Bloomington man accused of murdering IU senior Hannah Wilson and leaving her body in an abandoned lot.

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Messel, 49, was accused of bludgeoning 22-year-old Wilson to death. He has been charged with one count of murder.

Messel appeared in the Brown County Circuit Court for the first time at 2:30 p.m. Monday via video conference from Brown County jail.

During the initial hearing, Messel’s jury trial date was set for 8 a.m. July 22.

Circuit Court Judge Judith Stewart entered a preliminary plea of not guilty to allow time for Messel to meet with his assigned public defender, Andrew Szakaly.

Wilson, a psychology student who was set to graduate next month, was reportedly last seen by witnesses outside of Kilroy’s Sports Bar at 1 a.m. Friday, according to a probable cause affidavit. Friends said they paid for a cab ride to her residence, according to the affidavit.

A woman discovered Wilson’s body at 8:30 a.m. Friday as she drove past an abandoned lot early Friday morning in the 5800 block of Plum Creek Road, about 25 miles east of the IU campus.

Investigators have not yet disclosed how Messel and Wilson initially encountered one another, but Messel’s cellphone was found at the scene where Wilson’s body was discovered.

Messel was first arrested Friday evening in connection to Wilson’s murder.

His criminal history dates back to 1993 and involves arrests for drunk driving and felony assault, according to court documents. In 1996, he was sentenced to eight years in prison after he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. Seven years earlier, according to the Herald-Times archives, Messel was arrested and jailed for confinement after his then-girlfriend told police he wouldn’t let her leave her own apartment.

Messel’s pretrial date is set for 1 p.m. July 6, 2015, at the Brown County Circuit Court.

A bail hearing to determine whether or not Messel is entitled to bond is set for 10:30 a.m. May 15, but may be moved to an earlier date after Messel meets with his public defender.