Day 2 wraps up in Ill. murder trial

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Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 5:59 PM CDT
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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.

[Monday: Murder trial underway for man accused of killing Ill. teen]

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.

Brodey Murbarger.
Brodey Murbarger.(Vanderburgh Co. Jail)

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.

Megan Nichols.
Megan Nichols.(Evansville Police Department)