Daniel Messel sentenced to 80 years in prison for murder of IU student, Hannah Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS – Daniel Messel was sentenced on Thursday to 80 years in prison for murdering IU student, Hannah Wilson.

Messel was found guilty after Wilson’s body was found hours after she was reported missing, in the wooded area of Plum Creek in Brown County in 2015. His cellphone was laying nearby and investigators found her blood, hair and DNA in Messel’s 2012 Kia SUV.

The Brown County coroner said Wilson died due to blunt force trauma to the head. They said she was struck three or four times in the back of head with an unknown object.

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The last time Wilson, 22, was seen, she was getting into a green and white cab, according to court documents.

During Messel’s sentencing, the judge took into account his prior convictions and said he showed a pattern of criminal conduct and violence. He plans to appeal the sentence.

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He was charged with battery, resisting law enforcement and disorderly conduct after Messel’s ex-girlfriend and co-worker said he beat them years ago.

"We went out for four years, and he was very violent," said Michele Day of Bloomington. "He was an alcoholic and very controlling. He beat the hell out of me a couple times."

Day called police after one beating in 1986.

"I had a black eye," said Day, who added she was younger than 18 when she dated Messel.

Court records say he grabbed Day by her hair and throat. Records show Messel didn’t serve any jail time for the incident.

Documents show Messel was convicted of forgery in 1989 and he served just over a year in jail from May 1990 to June 1991 after he violated his probation.

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Wilson's family reacted during the sentencing:

 

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