Supreme Court declines case of IU student’s convicted killer
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case of a man convicted in the 2000 killing of a Indiana University student, rejecting it months after a federal appeals court reversed a judge’s order that called for his release from prison.
The high court recently denied a petition that attorneys filed on behalf of John Myers II asking the court to consider the Ellettsville man’s case, The Herald-Times reported.
The court’s decision means Myers, 45, will remain incarcerated at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. State records show that his earliest possible release date would be June 2037.
A Morgan County jury convicted Myers in 2006 in the killing of 19-year-old Jill Behrman and sentenced him to 65 years in prison. Indiana law at the time would allow him to be released after serving half of his time if he maintains good behavior.
Behrman was an IU sophomore when she disappeared on May 31, 2000, while riding her bicycle near Bloomington. Her fate was a mystery until hunters found her remains in 2003 in Morgan County, north of Bloomington. She had been shot in the back of the head.
In September 2019, U.S. District Judge James Sweeney vacated Myers’ conviction and ordered his release from prison. He ruled that Myers’ legal representation during his murder trial was so ineffective that his Sixth Amendment rights had been violated.
But in August 2020, a three-judge panel of the Chicago-based U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Sweeney’s order, ruling that jurors still would have convicted Myers even without the errors by his counsel.
“Because of the strength of the evidence presented at trial, our confidence in the jury’s decision is not undermined,” that ruling states.