UT homicide trial awaiting DNA results

Victim Haruka Weiser, left, and suspect Meechaiel Criner (Beaverton School District Photo/APD Mugshot)
Victim Haruka Weiser, left, and suspect Meechaiel Criner (Beaverton School District Photo/APD Mugshot)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A scheduled hearing for the suspect in the death of University Texas student Haruka Wieser was delayed Thursday as attornies are waiting on DNA test results.

Those results must be available before a trial date can be set for suspect Meechaiel Criner.

Charged with capital murder in the killing of Haruka, Criner is expected to plead not guilty. His attorney described Criner as being in good spirits after he turned 18 in July. Because he was 17 at the time of the homicide, Criner is not eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

On the evening of April 3, Weiser called her friend as she was leaving the drama building at UT to say she was coming home, but she was never seen alive again. Her body was found April 5 in Waller Creek. Police said there were obvious signs of trauma to her body and evidence of sexual assault. 

Police made the link to Criner after the Austin Fire Department alerted them to a trash fire on April 4 at 2900 Medical Arts Street, which is just off-campus. When firefighters arrived, they found Criner, who had a woman’s bicycle in his possession, as well as a small blue duffel bag that resembles one owned by Haruka.

Stay with KXAN for updates from the courtroom. 

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