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Prosecution in Criner trial close to wrapping up its case

Prosecutors in the Meechaiel Criner capital murder trial are counting on tiny evidence to tie him to the 2016 death of University of Texas freshman Haruka Weiser. (CBS Austin)

Prosecutors in the Meechaiel Criner capital murder trial are counting on tiny evidence to tie him to the 2016 death of University of Texas freshman Haruka Weiser.

Today, Travis County's medical examiner confirmed that Haruka Weiser died of strangulation and blunt force injury to the brain. The strangulation was done with what we commonly call a “tow rope,” but in the courtroom they often referred to it it as a “ligature."

Tuesday morning, investigators testified that fibers found on Criner's backpack were similar to those of a tow rope found around Weiser's neck when her body was found among the large rocks in Waller Creek on the UT campus. Travis County Medical Examiner Dr. Kendall Crowns then testified that Weiser had been severely beaten with a blunt object or her body had been slammed against a hard surface. But he emphasized it was the strangulation that kept Weiser from defending herself.

Jurors actually ended up having a rare short day after the judge raised concerns about some digital evidence. They'll iron that out Wednesday morning and the judge expects the prosecution to rest and the defense to begin presenting its case by the afternoon.


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