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University of Arizona shooting suspect to be held without bail

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) — A judge ruled Thursday, Oct. 20 that Murad Can Dervish, suspect in shooting Murad Can Dervish at the University of Arizona will be held without bail.

The decision comes days before Devrish is due to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Authorities said Dervish shot and killed Professor Thomas Meixner on campus on Wednesday, October 5. Dervish was a graduate student in the program before he was banned from school in January and expelled in June.

Dervish faces charges of first degree murder, aggravated assault, first degree burglary, misconduct involving weapons and three counts of endangerment. During the judgment, the judge described it as “dangerous”.

Dervish’s public defender, Christopher Lynch, asked the judge during the hearing to bar media from entering the courtroom. After the judge denied Lynch’s request, he asked the media not to take any pictures or videos of Dervish in his prison uniform, which was also denied.

Lynch expressed concern that because the University of Arizona employs so many people and has thousands of students, Dervish’s right to an impartial jury could be in jeopardy. The judge replied, “Justice develops best in broad daylight.”

University of Arizona Police Detective Todd Kaufman said officers were called in November 2021 in response to an incident between Dervish and two professors: Meixner and Xiquan Dong.

Kaufman told the judge that Dervish challenged a grade he got in one of Dong’s classes and appealed to the department head, Meixner. When Meixner said the note would stand, Dervish allegedly started shouting.

Dervish was fired from his teaching assistant position later that semester.

Kaufman said Dervish then began sending threatening emails, containing anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs, to Meixner, Dong and other professors. He was then expelled.

Meixner was spotted on campus in March, Kaufman said, the day after he received his expulsion letter.

Dervish allegedly attempted to purchase a handgun from a website similar to Craigslist, Kaufman said, but the seller was alarmed by something Dervish said and notified Tucson police.

Prosecutors showed text messages from Dervish’s phone number.

The seller wrote in a text message that he planned to remove the gun from the website and keep it if it didn’t sell for $550.

“A few dollars really doesn’t matter since I’m going to use it to kill several others and myself,” Dervish replied.

Prosecutors also posted emails from Dervish to Meixner, in which Dervish wrote, “You are the most disgusting piece of [expletive] that I have never met. I hope someone blows your [expletive] leave.”

Authorities say Dervish purchased a 9mm handgun, likely through a private sale, between August and September.

At the time of Meixner’s shooting, authorities said, he was bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds to his chest and one to his neck. Although first responders tried to save his life, he was pronounced 15 to 20 minutes later.

University of Arizona president Dr. Robert Robbins said the school took several steps to keep Dervish off campus, including twice seeking charges for threats Dervish allegedly made against Meixner. and others. But the Pima County District Attorney’s Office said there was not enough evidence to prosecute the charges either time.

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