Suspect charged in fatal shooting of Arizona professor

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – A former University of Arizona student is facing seven felony charges, including first-degree murder, in the shooting death of a professor on campus earlier this month, authorities said.

The Pima County District Attorney said a grand jury on Tuesday also charged Murad Darvesh, 46, with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited owner, menacing and robbery.

Darvesh is scheduled to be brought to court on Monday. He is being held without bail pending a court hearing on Thursday.

It was not immediately clear whether Darvesh had been assigned a public defender in his case on Wednesday.

Darvish is accused of murdering Thomas Meixner, who was the head of the department of hydrology and atmospheric science of this school and an expert on desert water issues.

Campus police said the shooting occurred Oct. 5 inside the Harshbarger Building, which houses the hydrology department.

The relationship between Dervish and Meixner remains unclear, but a criminal complaint says a flyer with Darvish’s photo was sent to university staff in February asking them to call 911 if he ever entered the building.

The complaint also alleges that Dervish was “driven” and “prevented from being on University of Arizona property” and that he has been the subject of multiple reports of harassment and threats against employees at Harshbarger.

In a letter to students and colleagues on Monday, University President Robert Robbins said campus police tried twice to file criminal charges against Darvesh before the shooting and referred the complaints to the county attorney’s office, but were told There is not enough evidence.

“In no event did the evidence in the complaint meet the evidentiary requirements to charge (Darvesh) with the crime of menacing and intimidation,” District Attorney Laura Conover said in a statement.

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