Behrman jury tours crime scenes, prep...

Behrman jury tours crime scenes, prepares for final arguments

There are 53 comments on the The Indianapolis Star story from Oct 30, 2006, titled Behrman jury tours crime scenes, prepares for final arguments. In it, The Indianapolis Star reports that:

Jurors will hear closing arguments in the trial of John R. Myers II today, a day after they viewed 18 locations related to Jill Behrman's disappearance and death.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Indianapolis Star.

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beth

Kendallville, IN

#1 Oct 30, 2006
It certainly seems like a mountain of what could be seen as circumstantial and hear say evidence. If he is the one responsible I would hate to see him get off.
lynn- Indianapolis

United States

#2 Oct 30, 2006
I wish someone would get rid of that smug grin he has everytime he is on TV.
glen

AOL

#3 Oct 30, 2006
I think it is fishy that the Defendant's criminal record isn't being released. . .it would be relevant if he had a past history of violence.
kelly

Monon, IN

#4 Oct 30, 2006
In all honesty, I am tired of hearing about this case. I am not sure why Jill Behrman is so much more important than any of the other murderd victims and their families in Indiana. There are many and for some crazy reason Jill Behrman is the only one we continue to hear about daily.
Patrick McGrath

Memphis, TN

#5 Oct 30, 2006
This case reminds me of the book out now entitled The Innocent Man, by John Grisham about a couple of guys who were convicted of a murder they did not commit, spending years in prison and on death row before the truth was known. It was based on overlooking non physical evidence, non interviewing those who should have been persons of interest, lack of physical evidence, misguided prosecutory ambitions and falsehoods. Linking Meyers to the case, only by proximity and innuendo by third parties where he supposedly "linked" himself to the case isn't evidence he actually committed any crime, much less murder. Read Innocent Man and you will see similarlities of the prosecution attempting to force feed the jury suggestions of guilt, based on presenting a case solely on circumstantial non facts.
Tux

West Lafayette, IN

#6 Oct 30, 2006
I would love to know what reasons the defense lawyer has to suggest she was pregnant?

"She had a boyfriend! She MUST have been pregnant." - Maybe this was his logic.

Sounds to me like a ridiculously desperate attempt to shift focus away from the defendant.
Aaron

Indianapolis, IN

#7 Oct 30, 2006
Actually, Tux, Behrman had several books on adoption and pregnancy in her room as well as a pregnancy test kit so the possibility that she was pregnant seems very real. But then again, that's only circumstantial evidence. ;)
Johnonomous

AOL

#9 Oct 30, 2006
glen wrote:
I think it is fishy that the Defendant's criminal record isn't being released...it would be relevant if he had a past history of violence.
According to today's Star, the defendant does have a somewhat checkered record, including attacks on a family member, and more. But such evidence wasn't permitted to be used in the trial.
Johnonomous

AOL

#10 Oct 30, 2006
Patrick McGrath wrote:
This case reminds me of the book out now entitled The Innocent Man, by John Grisham about a couple of guys who were convicted of a murder they did not commit, spending years in prison and on death row before the truth was known. It was based on overlooking non physical evidence, non interviewing those who should have been persons of interest, lack of physical evidence, misguided prosecutory ambitions and falsehoods. Linking Meyers to the case, only by proximity and innuendo by third parties where he supposedly "linked" himself to the case isn't evidence he actually committed any crime, much less murder. Read Innocent Man and you will see similarlities of the prosecution attempting to force feed the jury suggestions of guilt, based on presenting a case solely on circumstantial non facts.
Isn't Grisham the author of popular FICTION rather than a reporter or historian?
Brad in Dallas

Dallas, TX

#11 Oct 30, 2006
Aaron wrote:
Actually, Tux, Behrman had several books on adoption and pregnancy in her room as well as a pregnancy test kit so the possibility that she was pregnant seems very real. But then again, that's only circumstantial evidence. ;)
Actually, as it was mentioned in court, she was taking a class on human sexuality. It seems pretty legit those would be materials from class.
Megan

Pleasanton, CA

#12 Oct 30, 2006
I agree with you...I just finished the book last night. Had I not read it, and a few others I have been reading-I would have said, "book him...he is guilty". The Innocent Man really opened my eyes and although Meyers may be guilty-in my mind NO jury could convict him beyond a reasonable doubt. If he is guilty-the prosecution has done a horrible job at proving it!!
Patrick McGrath wrote:
This case reminds me of the book out now entitled The Innocent Man, by John Grisham about a couple of guys who were convicted of a murder they did not commit, spending years in prison and on death row before the truth was known. It was based on overlooking non physical evidence, non interviewing those who should have been persons of interest, lack of physical evidence, misguided prosecutory ambitions and falsehoods. Linking Meyers to the case, only by proximity and innuendo by third parties where he supposedly "linked" himself to the case isn't evidence he actually committed any crime, much less murder. Read Innocent Man and you will see similarlities of the prosecution attempting to force feed the jury suggestions of guilt, based on presenting a case solely on circumstantial non facts.
Megan

Pleasanton, CA

#13 Oct 30, 2006
Her mother said that before she was killed, she thought she might be pregnant...her diary (which we have not seen-but the jury has) may have had some information in it....she had two books about pregnancy, adoption, etc. No-this doesn't mean that she was pregnant-but it certainly makes you wonder.
Tux wrote:
I would love to know what reasons the defense lawyer has to suggest she was pregnant?
"She had a boyfriend! She MUST have been pregnant." - Maybe this was his logic.
Sounds to me like a ridiculously desperate attempt to shift focus away from the defendant.
Aaron

Indianapolis, IN

#14 Oct 30, 2006
Brad in Dallas, I'm not sure what human sexuality classes you're taking, but usually a pregnancy kit isn't part of the class. It's not like a class on HIV would come with syringes and needles you know?

Prosecutors strayed from identifying the actual texts required of that supposed human sexuality class as well which leads me to believe the defense had a substantial point in questioning whether she was actually pregnant.

There's nothing in this case that is beyond a reasonable doubt. Everything is murky and when that's the case, you cannot convict. You just can't.
b-town fiasco

Lebanon, IN

#15 Oct 30, 2006
does the berhman family hope to get closure on jill's death from the conviction of a man solely on circumstantial evidence? with the lack of any dna evidence, it would be pretty tough for me to live the rest of my life wondering if the wrong man was behind bars.
Patrick McGrath

Memphis, TN

#16 Oct 30, 2006
As reported in the Indianapolis Star, the defense attorney for John Myers held up a blank piece of paper and said that was what the evidence against him showed..nothing. I agree! My earlier post talks about the eery similarities bewteen this case and the murder case in the current book The Innocent Man by John Grisham. We cannot convict people on hearsay, innuendo, mere promity of the accused to a crime scene, look over other potential persons of interest. Surely the desire to solve a case doesn't mean a civilized society wanst innocent people jailed, executed and forever punished in this life. I don't. Prosecutors cannot force feed juries the wrong information for the wrong reasons and get the wrong results!
Brad in Dallas

Dallas, TX

#17 Oct 30, 2006
Here is my question regarding the materials (books, pregnancy test, etc) that were put into evidence. Neither side called the professor. The closest to saying they were from the class was the prosecution showing here class schedule. It seems this could have been huge for which ever side the professor came down on. If he/she said all the items came from the class, it kills the defenses argument. If he/she said those items were not part of the class materials, then you have to question her having them. With that said, since the only connection either side brought hard evidence on about them was prosecutor showing the class schedule and the defense not proving otherwise, you're only conclusion can be they were part of the class. That definitely weakens the "pregnancy" theory.
Chris

South San Francisco, CA

#18 Oct 30, 2006
Megan wrote:
I agree with you...I just finished the book last night. Had I not read it, and a few others I have been reading-I would have said, "book him...he is guilty". The Innocent Man really opened my eyes and although Meyers may be guilty-in my mind NO jury could convict him beyond a reasonable doubt. If he is guilty-the prosecution has done a horrible job at proving it!! <quoted text>
There is a mistaken notion that the law requires more than circumstantial evidence to convict a defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. This is NOT true.

If there is substantial circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution that satisfactorily establishes all the elements of the charged crime beyond a resonable doubt, then no additional evidence is required. Beyond a resonable doubt does NOT mean no doubt.

As other posters have pointed out about Mr. Grisham, he is a FICTION writer. However, interesting or well-researched his novels may be, they may not be considered as evidence in a real criminal case. A jury may ONLY properly consider the facts presented AT TRIAL and use its common reason and good judgment to determine if the prosecution has met its substantial burden of proving the charges against the defendant to the required legal standard. A jury may make the determination that the prosecution has presented substantial and compelling circumstantial evidence which it believes proves a case beyond a resonable doubt.

One other thing to note about Grishman's book The Innocent Man, that story deals with a case that involves much more than just a case built on circumstantial evidence. In the real case of Mr. Myers case, there has been no suggestion his attorney has been unable to interview witnesses or been denied access to exculpatory evidence.

Some individuals have made the legitimate argument that since the death penalty cannot be reversed if erroneously enacted, a jury should consider if the prosecution has only presented circumstantial evidence for the DEATH PENALTY portion of a trial. I don't think John Myers is facing the death penalty, but if he were then I would agree that a jury may not want to suggest he be sentenced to death only on circumstantial evidence. Well causing someone to lose his/her liberty in jail is a serious matter and should only be done when there is reasonable certain that the defendant is guilty, it is NOT the same as putting someone to death. Our justice system is NOT and will NEVER be perfect at some point we have to accept that it can only be as good as any human institution is capable of being, and we should not let murders go free (who may well kill other innocent people) based on on some vague and unlikely possiblity that they may not be guilty.

T
dsullivan

United States

#19 Oct 30, 2006
The jury found him guilty!
Frances

Montoursville, PA

#20 Oct 30, 2006
I hope the Behrmans have peace. The quick verdict by the jury shows that the prosecution made their case very clearly, even with circumstantial evidence. Bravo to them and to all who have worked for so many years to solve this case. I have followed it for years.

And for the record, regarding previous messages about the pregnancy kit. I work on a college campus in the health center,and students come in all the time for information for class projects. It is completely plausible that a student would have a pregnancy kit for a class presentation.
Lisa

Bloomington, IN

#21 Oct 30, 2006
That was quick.

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