INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - John Myers II, the man convicted in 2006 of killing IU student Jill Behrman in 2003 will be released from prison while he appeals his conviction.
On Friday, Judge James R. Sweeney granted Myers' petition for release during his appeal.
The court granted Myers' petition for writ of habeas corpus and ordered that he be released or retried. Myers argued that his psoriasis medication suppresses his immune system, making him more vulnerable to complications from COVID-19 while in prison.
Myers claims in his appeal that he received ineffective assistance from his attorney in the Behrman murder case. Myers was sentenced to 65 years in prison for Behrman's murder.
The state had 120 days from the date of the ruling last fall to vacate Myers' conviction to decide to retry Myers. According to Sweeney's ruling Friday, the state did not show that "the State will be irreparably harmed by Mr. Myers's release or that the public interest lies in favor of his continued incarceration pending appeal."
Brian Behrman, Jill's brother, said he learned of the ruling on Friday and posted on Instagram that the family was not afforded an opportunity to speak for Jill. "Once again, our system silences victims. It silences those who care for those who are lost," he posted.
"This appeal is based on the fact that Meyers (sic) received inappropriate counsel in his trial in 2006," Behrman posted. "The lawyer, Patrick Baker, is still practicing law in Indiana. He was censured by the state bar as a result of his work in Jill's case. How does he still gets to practice in this state?"
Baker told 13News when the appeal was filed that his firm "initially took on Mr. Myers’ murder case in April of 2006 pro bono because we believed in his innocence, as we still do."
Based on Myers' argument that he has had no issues while in prison and no previous criminal history, the judge concluded Myers would not be a danger to the public during his release. Myers told the judge he planned to live with his mother in Ellettsville.
He is scheduled to be in quarantine for two weeks and released at noon, CT on Monday, June 15.
He is permitted to leave home only for medical appointments under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for the Southern District of Indiana. He also has to wear an electronic monitoring device and practice CDC social distancing guidelines.