Guilty Verdict for Former Student in University of Arizona Professor's Killing

Guilty Verdict for Former Student in University of Arizona Professor’s Killing

A jury on Tuesday, after less than three hours of deliberation, convicted the man guilty of murder in the 2022 shooting death of a University of Arizona professor on campus.

In addition, the jury found him guilty on a number of other counts, including three counts of endangerment, one act of burglary, and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

After shooting Thomas Meixner, the chairman of the university’s Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, on October 5, 2022, Murad Dervish, 48, was found guilty of first-degree murder.

Kathleen, Meixner’s widow, sobbed as the judge announced the jury’s decision. Kathleen was mobbed by friends who gave her hugs and exclaimed, “We got justice for him.”

Attorney Dan South, who is defending Meixner’s family, agreed.

“The family feels like justice was served,” he stated.

June 24 at 1:30 p.m. has been set aside for the sentencing hearing.

Graduate student Dervish was eventually kicked off college and forbidden from returning. He was charged with intimidating Meixner and other academic staff members for over a year.

Thomas Meixner, a professor at the University of Arizona, what happened to him?

Just before 2:00 p.m., Meixner raced for his life down a hallway in the Harshbarger Building and into a classroom, according to the prosecution’s account of events during the trial. Dervish shot Meixner eleven times in all after emptying his magazine.

Dervish took a van and left the building. He was apprehended driving on Highway 85 in the direction of Mexico three hours later. Police pursued Dervish for two or three miles after he refused to stop for them. Authorities used a PIT technique to successfully halt his car.

During the closing remarks on Monday, Dervish’s lawyer expressed his desire for his client to be judged guilty but not insane, saying that his client “lost his mind in that moment.”

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Consultant concluded the university was unable to handle Murad Dervish’s danger.

According to a consultant’s report published in March 2023, the university had insufficient security measures in place and an unsatisfactory threat management procedure in place before to the deadly incident.

At the time, university president Robert Robbins stated that systemic problems at the university “should have been identified and corrected” and that he, other administrators, and the campus police force had all made mistakes.

At a press conference, he declared, “I am angry at myself that I didn’t do more to prevent this tragedy.”

What was given to Meixner’s family?

The Thomas Meixner family filed a $9 million lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees Arizona’s public universities, alleging that UA failed to take appropriate action prior to Meixner’s death. The report was made public a few days later.

Earlier this year, the family reached a $2.5 million settlement on the claim. A clause in the settlement agreement mandates that the institution create and maintain a Thomas Meixner Endowment Professorship in the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences.

In addition, the provisions mandate that the school give the department resources for ongoing mental health therapy and waive tuition or fees for the students who were most directly impacted by the occurrence.


With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.