AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A 20-year-old man accused of strangling and sexually assaulting a University of Texas freshman on campus in April 2016 is facing trial.
Jury selection began Monday in the capital murder trial of Meechaiel Criner, who is accused in the death of Haruka Weiser.
Criner is not eligible for the death penalty because he was 17 at the time of the killing. If convicted, the foster care runaway faces a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Criner’s arrest affidavit said campus surveillance video showed a man thought to be Criner watching a female thought to be Weiser as she walked toward her dorm with her head down, looking at her cellphone.
The body of Weiser, a first-year dance student, was found in a creek on the UT campus.
Criner was arrested April 7 at a shelter near campus and was found to have a number of Weiser’s belongings, including her blue duffel bag.
Eighteen-year-old Weiser, was a dance major from Portland, Oregon. Police have said she was killed as she walked to her dormitory after leaving a rehearsal.
Criner’s lawyers say police arrested the wrong person.
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