GUILTY IL - Megan Nichols, 15, found deceased, Fairfield, 3 July 2014 *ARREST in 2020*

avenger

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HEADLINES FOR TUESDAY, JANUARY 11TH

26-year-old Brodey I. Murbarger was scheduled to appear in Wayne County Circuit Court this morning for a pre-trial hearing, but the hearing was continued to a later date. Defense Attorney Christian J. Baril filed the motion to continue due to illness. The Circuit Clerk’s Office said this morning no make-up date had been set in stone. The final pre-trial conference in the case was previously set for April 26th at 9:30, and a jury trial is scheduled to begin on May 2nd.

Headlines for Tuesday, January 11th
 

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MURBARGER ASKS FOR CHANGE OF VENUE

2/23/22

26-year-old Brodey I. Murbarger appeared in Wayne County Circuit Court yesterday for a pre-trial conference. His attorney, Christian J. Baril, filed a motion for a change of venue, as well as a motion for the appointment of an expert to conduct a survey for potential jurors. The motions will be discussed in a special setting on March 18th at 9 am at the courthouse. Other motions could be filed in the interim, and Judge Michael Molt indicated they should be filed by the 11th in order to be considered. He also said he would schedule no other cases for the day, so working through the motions will proceed unhindered for as long as necessary.

The defense also filed a motion asking for medical records to be used for trial purposes. Judge Molt had no issue with the request, nor did the State, provided a protective order is entered so the records will be used only by the State or defense. The records are those of Megan Nichols and were provided in discovery by Illinois State Police with permission of her mother.

Murbarger remains housed in the Wayne County Jail on three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of home invasion, and one count of concealment of a homicidal death in relation to the death of Megan Nichols.

MURBARGER ASKS FOR CHANGE OF VENUE (wnoi.com)


WAYNE COUNTY, IL — A 26-year-old man charged with the murder of his 15-year-old girlfriend nearly 10 years ago is seeking to have his trial moved from Wayne County where the young girl’s body was found in a shallow grave years after her disappearance. Brodey Murbarger’s attorney filed a motion on his client’s behalf Tuesday.

The Court on Tuesday issued a protective order for Megan Nichols’ medical records.

A hearing on all pending motions in the case is scheduled for March 18 with a May 2 setting being eyed as a possible start date for a jury trial.

Lawyer for former Wayne County area man on trial for murdering Fairfield girl in 2014 files motion to move trial | WMIX-FM (wmix94.com)
 

avenger

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March 18, 2022

26-year-old Brodey I. Murbarger appeared in Wayne County Circuit Court this morning with his attorney, Christian J. Baril. Baril filed a motion to continue the jury trial in the case from May 2nd to September 19th at 9 a.m., and the motion was granted. The defense motion made last month for a change of venue was continued, as well, and a hearing was scheduled for April 26th at 9 a.m. to discuss the matter. Judge Michael Molt denied a motion to have the county pay to appoint an expert to conduct a phone survey for jury selection, saying the process would be most effectively conducted in person by the defense and court. He did not preclude such a survey, but the county will not pay for it to be conducted.

Headlines for Friday, March 18th | WFIW (wfiwradio.com)
 

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MURBARGER PRE TRIAL

3/19/22

The first-degree murder trial of 25-year-old Brodey I. Murbarger has been delayed until fall. Murbarger is awaiting trial for the 2014 slaying of 15-year-old Megan Nichols of Fairfield. The trial was set to begin May 2 but was delayed during a pretrial hearing on Friday in Wayne County Circuit Court.

Murbarger’s motion to have his trial moved out of Wayne County because of too much pretrial publicity is also on hold. Without objection, arguments on the motion for a change of venue were delayed until April 26. The defendant’s motion to have the court appoint an expert to conduct a telephone survey about the community’s knowledge of the case and any prejudice against Murbarger was denied by Circuit Judge Michael Molt. The survey would have cost somewhere between $8,000 and $10,000.

At the conclusion of Friday’s hearing, Judge Molt re-set Murbarger’s jury trial date to September 19 with a final pretrial date of September 13.

A Wayne County Grand Jury indicted Murbarger on six counts, including three counts of first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death and two counts of home invasion to commit the offense of criminal sexual abuse. While an official cause of death has not been made public, the first-degree murder indictment alleges that Murbarger “intentionally or knowingly caused Megan Nichols to be suffocated”. A second indictment alleges Megan was strangled. Megan’s remains have still not been released to the family for burial. They remain in the custody of federal investigators who are conducting further forensic analysis.

The disappearance of Megan Nichols occurred on July 4, 2014. Her remains were recovered December 26, 2017 in a remote area southwest of Fairfield.

Murbarger remains in the Wayne County jail at Fairfield under $3 million bond.

MURBARGER TRIAL DELAYED AGAIN (wnoi.com)
 

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TUESDAY, APRIL 26TH

26-year-old Brodey I. Murbarger appeared in Wayne County Circuit Court this morning. His attorney, Christian J. Baril, asked to continue the motion hearing on a change of location for the trial, which had been the purpose for today’s meeting. Hearing no objection from Assistant Attorney General Myra Yelle-Clark or State’s Attorney Kevin Kakac, Judge Michael Molt continued the hearing to July 12th at 10 a.m. Baril said the defense was in the process of gathering evidence in support of its motion for a change of venue, but it was having technical difficulties converting it to the proper format. A pre-trial conference set for July 19th was vacated, and any business needing attention will be discussed on the 12th.

Headlines for Tuesday, April 26th | WFIW (wfiwradio.com)
 

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Fri, July 15, 2022

Murbarger’s Attorney Asking For Change Of Venue​

Wayne County Circuit Judge Michael Molt has taken under advisement two motions filed by the attorney representing first degree murder suspect Brodey I. Murbarger. Murbarger is awaiting trial on multiple charges related to the disappearance and murder of 15-year-old Megan Nichols of Fairfield. On Tuesday, Murbarger’s attorney, Christian Baril argued a motion to move his client’s trial out of Wayne County because of too much pretrial publicity. He also filed a motion to sever charges in the case. Murbarger faces multiple charges related to the alleged murder as well as a number of criminal sexual abuse and home invasion charges. Murbarger’s attorney wants a jury to decide those charges separately.

The motion to sever charges will be argued during a hearing set for August 25. In support of his motion for a change of venue, Murbarger’s attorney submitted five separate exhibits to the court for its consideration. Judge Molt wrote that in the event he denies the defense motion, Murbarger’s lawyer will be able to renew the motion during jury selection. Previously, a Wayne County Grand Jury indicted Murbarger on six counts, including three counts of first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death and two counts of home invasion to commit the offense of criminal sexual abuse. While an official cause of death has not been made public, the first-degree murder indictment alleges that Murbarger “intentionally or knowingly caused Megan Nichols to be suffocated”. A second indictment alleges Megan was strangled. Murbarger’s jury trial has been set for September 19 in Wayne County Circuit Court in Fairfield.

 
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avenger

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MURBARGER CHANGE OF VENUE DENIED

8/16/22

Wayne County Resident Judge Michael Molt rejected a motion to move the first-degree murder trial of Brodey Murbarger out of Wayne County. The ruling denying the motion was entered Monday in Wayne County Circuit Court.

Murbarger is awaiting trial on multiple charges related to the murder of 15-year-old Megan Nichols of Fairfield. Murbarger’s attorney, Christian Baril had argued that his client could not receive a fair trial in Wayne County because of too much pretrial publicity. He has also filed a motion to sever charges in the case. Murbarger faces multiple charges related to the alleged murder as well as a number of criminal sexual abuse and home invasion charges. Arguments in the motion to sever case will be heard on Thursday, August 25 in Wayne County Circuit Court.

Previously, a Wayne County Grand Jury indicted Murbarger on six counts, including three counts of first-degree murder, concealment of a homicidal death and two counts of home invasion to commit the offense of criminal sexual abuse. While an official cause of death has not been made public, the first degree murder indictment alleges that Murbarger “intentionally or knowingly cause Megan Nichols to be suffocated”. A second indictment alleged that Megan had been “strangled”.

Murbarger’s jury trial has been set to begin September 19. He remains in the Wayne County jail.

 

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SEPT. JURY TRIAL SET IN WAYNE CO. MURDER OF FAIRFIELD TEEN​

  • August 26, 2022
WAYNE COUNTY — A Wayne County judge on Thursday denied a defense motion seeking to move the location of the trial against a 26-year-old man charged with the murder of his 15-year-old girlfriend nearly 10 years ago.

Brodey Murbarger is accused of strangling and suffocating Megan Nichols to death in her Fairfield home on July 3, 2014, and later burying her body in a shallow grave in a rural part of Wayne County.

Nichols was considered a missing person until her remains were found in a farm field outside Boyleston, Illinois in 2017.

Murbarger was arrested in 2020 while working in Indiana, on three charges of first-degree murder, Class 3 felony concealment of a homicidal death, and two Class X felony counts of home invasion to commit a sex offense. He’s remained in the Wayne County Jail since that time with bond set at $300,000 cash.

The court agreed Thursday to sever the two Class X felony charges of home invasion against Murbarger but ordered all motions in the case are to be filed on or before September 6, with a jury trial scheduled for September 19.

 

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September 2, 2022

The first-degree murder trial of Brodey Murbarger has been delayed again. Murbarger was set for trial September 19 for the slaying of 15-year-old Megan Nichols of Fairfield. Following a telephone conference on Wednesday in Wayne County Circuit Court, Murbarger’s defense attorney requested a continuance until October 3. Without objection, the defense attorney’s motion was granted. Judge Michael Molt vacated the original September 19 trial date and set a final pretrial hearing for September 13. A hearing on all pending motions will be held September 27, with a filing deadline of September 20.

Headlines for Friday, September 2nd
 

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26 SEPTEMBER

PROSECUTION’S MOTIONS EXPECTED TO BE HEARD TUESDAY IN FINAL PRE-TRIAL FOR BRODEY MURBARGER​

FAIRFIELD – Wayne County prosecutors recently filed motions seeking to admit text messages and proof of other crimes in a murder trial next month.

A final pre-trial hearing in the case is scheduled for Tuesday charging Brodey Murbarger of strangling his girlfriend Megan Nichols to death in her Fairfield home nearly 10 years ago and then disposing of her body in a shallow grave in rural Wayne County.

Megan was last seen alive July 3, 2014 and was considered a missing person until the discovery of her remains in a farm field outside Boyleston, IL in 2017.

Judge Michael Molt is expected to rule on the prosecution’s motions at a Tuesday final pre-trial in the case.

A jury is expected to hear the case starting Oct. 3. Murbarger is charged with three counts first-degree murder, Class 3 felony concealment of a homicidal death.

The court earlier agreed to sever two counts Class X felony home invasion to commit a sex offense from the case. They will be tried separately from the other charges.

 

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Day 2 wraps up in Ill. murder trial​

Oct. 4, 2022

FAIRFIELD, Ill. (WFIE) - Testimony is underway in Fairfield, Illinois for the man accused in the 2014 murder of 15-year old Megan Nichols.

Tuesday was day two of the trial.

Brodey Murbarger was arrested in 2020. Police say Nichols was initially considered a missing person until her remains were found in a rural area in Wayne County, Illinois in 2018.

After reviewing a total of 45 potential jurors, the court selected the twelve jurors and two alternates it needs for the case. The People of Illinois v. Brodey I. Murbarger then began with opening arguments.

The prosecution said then-18-year-old Murbarger was in a relationship with 15-year-old Megan Nichols. The prosecution said evidence indicated they had plans to run away together the night she disappeared. Murbarger was with his girlfriend when he got a phone call and texts from Nichols, and then left his girlfriend’s, leaving his phone behind.

They say there is no evidence of exactly where Murbarger was for the next six hours, and blood the FBI later found in Murbarger’s trunk matched Nichols.

The defense says Nichols was running away, something that lines up with a note she left, and she had snuck out before. They say given their relationship, it’s not unusual for Nichols’ DNA to be in Murbarger’s car, even in the trunk.

After opening arguments, the prosecution called their first witness: Megan Nichols’ mom. She started to detail Murbarger’s relationship with her daughter from her perspective, and the conflicts she had with him that at times drove a wedge between her and her daughter.

The trial continues here tomorrow, and the court expects it to last about two weeks.

 

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Testimony continued Thursday in Fairfield for the trial for the man accused in the 2014 murder of 15-year old Megan Nichols.

On Wednesday, friends and family of Megan Nichols gave their testimony. On Thursday, the jury heard instead from people closer to Brodey Murbarger, as well as some of those who investigated Nichols’ disappearance.

The prosecution then brought in members of the Fairfield Police Department who initially treated the case as a runaway, and then investigated it as a disappearance.

The court then heard from a special agent with the Illinois State Police, and saw recordings of his multiple interviews with Murbarger, to highlight discrepancies in his account of what happened.

 

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Testimony continued Thursday in Fairfield for the trial for the man accused in the 2014 murder of 15-year old Megan Nichols.

On Wednesday, friends and family of Megan Nichols gave their testimony. On Thursday, the jury heard instead from people closer to Brodey Murbarger, as well as some of those who investigated Nichols’ disappearance.

Testimony started with Murbarger’s former girlfriend, who he was dating while also at times dating Megan Nichols. She told the story of how Murbarger was spending the evening with her before suddenly leaving on the night Nichols disappeared.

The court also heard testimony from two of Murbarger’s former co-workers, who gave accounts of his behavior in the months following Nichols’ disappearance.

The prosecution then brought in members of the Fairfield Police Department who initially treated the case as a runaway, and then investigated it as a disappearance.

The court then heard from a special agent with the Illinois State Police, and saw recordings of his multiple interviews with Murbarger, to highlight discrepancies in his account of what happened.


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I'm not sure if anyone outside of Southern Illinois is following this case, but I realized that the out of town news stations are not reporting details about the witness testimonies. I've been a long time lurker on this site but felt like I could add something here by sharing the local newspaper articles on the trial. The newspaper is print only and runs a few days a week. The article below was in last week's paper (10/06/2022).


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