Meechaiel Criner Indicted for the Murder of UT Student Haruka Weiser
A Travis County grand jury has indicted 17-year-old Meechaiel Criner on capital murder charges for the killing of Haruka Weiser, a 19-year-old University of Texas dance student, in April on UT’s campus as she was walking home to her dorm.
In a written statement confirming the indictment, the Travis County District Attorney’s office said it cannot seek the death penalty because Criner was 17 years old at the time of the alleged murder and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled it’s unconstitutional to impose the death penalty on a defendant who’s under the age of 18.
If convicted, Criner will face a minimum of 40 years in prison.
UT President Gregory Fenves said in a press release after the announcement that UT Police are cooperating with the Austin Police Department and the district attorney’s office:
"As our campus continues to mourn the loss of Haruka Weiser, I deeply appreciate the tireless work of law enforcement and the district attorney's office to investigate and prosecute this crime. University police continue to coordinate closely with Austin police and the Travis County district attorney on this case."