Murder defendant gets protective order against other inmate

A man charged with the murder of an Indiana University student has written a letter to Judge Judith Stewart, claiming he is being treated unfairly by the court, police and press.

On March 15, Daniel Messel wrote that letters from another inmate that link him to the disappearance of IU student Lauren Spierer and the murder of IU student Jill Behrman are “ridiculous.”


Messel is charged in the death of Hannah Wilson, whose body was found in April 2015 in a vacant lot at State Road 45 and Plum Creek Road in Brown County.

New Castle Correctional Facility inmate David Hayden has been writing letters to Brown Circuit Court, claiming he met Messel in a bar in Terre Haute and that the two served time together in the same prison.

Messel denies the claim.

Hayden also claims he knew all three IU students.

A letter from Hayden, including photos, was received by the court on March 18, but was struck from the record for being “scandalous” and “impertinent.”

A protective order was filed and distributed April 13 against Hayden on behalf of Messel.

Messel also mentioned coverage in the Bloomington newspaper about the Wilson case as having an “agenda” and drawing connections to other murders at “any chance they get.”

Messel’s attorney had asked the court for a change of venue, but it was denied.

His jury trial is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. June 1 in Brown Circuit Court.