Jurors have convicted a man in the 2016 death of a student from Oregon who was sexually assaulted strangled on the University of Texas campus.
Twenty-year-old Meechaiel Criner was found guilty of capital murder Friday in the death of 18-year-old Haruka Weiser of Beaverton.
Weiser was a freshman dance major. She was walking to her dormitory after a rehearsal when she was attacked.
Criner was a 17-year-old foster care runaway at the time.
He says he didn’t kill Weiser. Prosecutors say several items linked Criner to the crime, including a pair of eyeglasses found at the scene that matched glasses worn by Criner.
The conviction means an automatic life sentence, though Criner will be eligible for parole after 40 years. Criner was ineligible for the death penalty because he was 17 when the crime occurred.
Weiser was a 2015 graduate of the Arts & Communications Magnet Academy in Beaverton and a member of Dance West, a student dance troupe that performs with the Oregon Symphony a few times a year.