Fairfield man found guilty in Illinois murder trial

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Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 3:12 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2022 at 4:15 PM CDT
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FAIRFIELD, Ill. (WFIE) - A Fairfield man accused in the 2014 murder of Megan Nichols was found guilty on Thursday.

After just two hours of deliberation, the jury returned a guilty verdict.

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 six days of testimony from witnesses, the prosecution and defense made their cases on Thursday.

In order for the jury to convict Murbarger of first-degree murder, the prosecution had to prove not only that Murbarger caused the death of Megan Nichols, but that he did it intentionally.

The prosecution presented their case, which centered on his unknown whereabouts the night that Nichols disappeared. It also included their plans to run away together, Nichols’ blood found in the trunk of his car, and his changing explanations for events when speaking to different people or when presented with new information by law enforcement.

The defense then addressed the jury, and pointed out that despite inconsistencies in his story, Murbarger wasn’t arrested or charged for six-and-a-half years, and he voluntarily complied with multiple interviews and searches. They said the prosecution’s case was based on speculation, guesses and innuendo. They also pointed out a lack of motive, saying he had no reason to want to kill Nichols.

The prosecution then addressed the jury one final time. They said Murbarger wasn’t arrested for so long because of how long it took to find Nichols’ remains. They also said they don’t have to prove motive for a conviction, saying only the killer knows exactly why they did it.

Our 14 News spoke to Murbarger’s defense attorney, who said he plans to file for a new trial.

We will bring you the latest on the next steps for sentencing.

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