Murad Dervish Murders Thomas Meixner In Arizona

murad dervish
Murad Dervish

Murad Dervish is a killer from Arizona who was convicted of the murder of Thomas Meixner

According to court documents Murad Dervish would enter the University of Arizona and would go to the office of Professor Thomas Meixner who he would shoot nearly a dozen times

A year earlier Murad Dervish who was a Graduate student at the time was expelled from the University Of Arizona for threatening staff and faculty including Thomas Meixner. Dervish was also banned from the University campus

Along with the murder of Thomas Meixner Murad Dervish was also convicted of aggravated assault for firing a bullet at the building manager

Murad Dervish when he was arrested still had the weapon and ammunition which police would match to the crime scene

Now Murad Dervish faces life in prison when he faces sentencing later this year

Murad Dervish Case

A jury on Tuesday found the man accused of fatally shooting a University of Arizona professor on campus in 2022 guilty of murder after just under three hours of deliberation.

The jury also found him guilty of a slew of other charges, including one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of burglary and three counts of endangerment.

Murad Dervish, 48, was found guilty of first-degree murder after he shot Thomas Meixner, the head of the university’s Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, on Oct. 5, 2022.

Meixner’s widow, Kathleen, broke down in tears after the judge read out the jury verdict. A group of people surrounded Kathleen and hugged her, with one saying: “We got justice for him.”

Dan South, an attorney representing Meixner’s family, echoed that sentiment.

“The family feels like justice was served,” he said.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for June 24 at 1:30 p.m.

Dervish was a graduate student who was eventually expelled and prohibited from being on campus. He was accused of threatening Meixner and other faculty and university staff for more than a year.

During the trial, the prosecution led by the Pima County Attorney’s Office recounted the moments before Meixner was killed, just before 2 p.m., detailing how Meixner ran for his life down a hallway in the Harshbarger Building and into a classroom. Dervish emptied his magazine, in total shooting Meixner 11 times.

Dervish fled the building in a van. Three hours later, he was caught driving on Highway 85 toward Mexico. Dervish refused to stop for police, leading officers on a chase for two to three miles. His car was successfully stopped using a PIT maneuver.

Dervish’s attorney wanted his client to be found guilty except insane, telling the jury in closing arguments Monday his client “lost his mind in that moment.”

Murad Dervish News

A former University of Arizona graduate student was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder for fatally shooting a hydrology professor on campus, months after he was expelled.

A Pima County Superior Court jury deliberated for less than three hours before reaching a verdict against Murad Dervish, 48, in the death of Thomas Meixner, who was shot 11 times near his office in October 2022.

Dervish also was convicted of five other felony counts, including aggravated assault for a bullet that grazed a building manager. Dervish, who showed no emotion as the verdicts were read, is set to be sentenced on June 24. He could face life in prison.

Meixner, 52, headed the university’s Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences. Dervish was in the master’s degree program in atmospheric sciences.

Authorities said Dervish was banned from the school in January 2022 and later expelled for ongoing issues with professors after he received a bad grade.

Defense attorney Leo Masursky told jurors in his closing argument Monday that Dervish was having a psychotic episode during the shooting and that the crime wasn’t premeditated.

He said jurors should hold Dervish accountable but urged them to consider a lesser charge of second-degree murder that could have meant confinement in a psychiatric hospital, rather than a prison cell.

“Murad Dervish lost his mind on Oct. 5, 2022,” Masursky said. “He had severe mental health issues. He did not know right from wrong.”

But Pima County prosecutor Mark Hotchkiss said evidence showed Dervish planned Meixner’s killing and bought — a 9 mm handgun — a month before using it in the shooting.

“He is not guilty but insane. He’s just guilty,” Hotchkiss said of Dervish.

According to a criminal complaint, a flyer with a photograph of Dervish was circulated to university staff in February 2022 with instructions to call 911 if Dervish ever entered the John W. Harshbarger Building, where Meixner worked.

The complaint also said Dervish was barred from school property and was the subject of several reports of harassment and threats to staff members working at Harshbarger.

Witnesses testified that Dervish was wearing a surgical mask and baseball cap as a disguise when he showed up outside Meixner’s office and shot the professor.

Dervish fled the scene but was arrested three hours later after Arizona state troopers stopped his car on a highway more than 120 miles northwest of Tucson.

Authorities said a loaded handgun was found in the vehicle, and the ammunition was consistent with the shell casings found at the shooting scene.

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