Jurors to get firsthand look at suspect’s vehicle in Hannah Wilson murder trial

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BROWN COUNTY, Ind. – Friday marks the fourth day of testimony in the Daniel Messel murder trial in Brown County, and jurors will be presented evidence in an unusual way.

Rather than pictures, video or testimony, jurors will see the murder suspect's vehicle firsthand.

This is significant because, prosecutors say, this links Messel to IU student Hannah Wilson’s murder last April.

The IndyStar reports that prosecutors say hair and Wilson’s blood were found inside Messel’s Kia. DNA experts are expected to testify to that.

Prosecutors also say Messel’s cell phone was found at Wilson’s feet. The IndyStar also reports a cell tower expert will testify.

Hannah Wilson

Hannah Wilson

When he was arrested, police say Messel carried a bag of bloody clothes.

On Thursday in court, jurors saw photos showing the trauma the 22-year-old IU senior suffered, including cuts and bruises, before what prosecutors called fatal, repeated blows to the head.

Testimony shows the murder weapon is believed to have been a blunt object. Prosecutors suggest it was a Maglite flashlight, like one Messel is alleged to have kept in his car.

Defense attorneys say detectives focused only on Messel, no other leads, and they say circumstantial evidence doesn’t “put a weapon in his hand.”

The jury will view Messel’s car at 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Brown County Sheriff’s Department.

The trial is expected to continue for another one to two weeks.

It’s unknown whether Messel will testify.

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