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Meechaiel Criner pleads not guilty to murder of UT student from Portland

Haruka Weiser

AUSTIN, Texas — The jury has been seated in the murder trial of Meechaiel Criner.

He is accused of sexually assaulting and killing University of Texas freshman Haruka Weiser on campus in 2016.

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 has pleaded not guilty.

Jury selection started Monday and dozens of people were turned away.

Many were familiar with the case and believe Criner is guilty.

Lawyers have eight days to get the case to the jury.

Police used surveillance video to link Criner to the crime scene.

Earlier, the judge tossed out DNA evidence because of testing protocols that weren’t followed.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

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