INDIANAPOLIS — The state is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that the sentence for John Myers II should be overturned.
Myers is the man convicted of killing Jill Behrman, a 19-year-old IU student, in the spring of 2000. Her remains were discovered three years later in a rural part of Morgan County and Myers was eventually sentenced to 65-years in prison in 2006.
That sentence was tossed out by a federal judge last year, who said Myers’ defense attorneys were so ineffective that it was not a fair trial.
Attorney General Curtis Hill argues the opposite saying:
- Myers’ trial counsel did not prejudice Myers by making a misleading opening statement because the statement did not harm his defense.
- Bloodhound evidence supported the defense’s theory of a different suspect, so Myers’ counsel made a reasonable strategic decision to not object to the evidence.
- Myers was not prejudiced when his counsel did not object to the pathologist’s opinion that Jill had been raped because the evidence did not make it more likely that Myers murdered Behrman.
- That a claim that Myers counsel was ineffective because of a cumulation of errors is not available on federal habeas review.