NBC News reports that the suspect in the killing of UT Austin student, Haruka Weiser, was convicted this week. Meechaiel Criner, 20, was found guilty by a Texas jury of killing Weiser in 2016. Weiser was a dancer at the school, and her body was found in a creek near the school’s campus in April.
The jury deliberated on the charge of capital murder for over 10 hours before reaching a verdict. Criner was then sentenced to life in prison by the District Judge. He is not eligible for the death penalty because he was minor at the time of the crime. However, he will be ineligible for parole for 40 years.
Criner was homeless at the time of the murder, and had left his grandmother’s home almost 300 miles away. Weiser had called a friend after leaving a class at 9:30 p.m. in early April, and was reported missing at 11 a.m. the following day after missing a class.
The school’s surveillance videos showed what appeared to be Criner watching Weiser walking the school campus before he pulled out a “shiny rigid object.” Criner was then found in an abandoned building with items that belonged to Weiser, attempting to burn them.
*Photo credit NBCU News Group