YEAR IN REVIEW
COUNTING DOWN AUSTIN’S 10 BIGGEST STORIES
We’re counting down Austin’s 10 biggest stories of the year as chosen by American-Statesman reporters and editors. We’ll unveil one story each day through Jan. 1.
Today: We announce No. 4 | Previously in our countdown: No. 5
The University of Texas was shaken in April when the body of 18-year-old freshman dance student Haruka Weiser was found in a creek that runs through campus — slain on a Sunday night while walking back to her dorm. It was the first homicide on the UT campus since the 1966 Tower shooting.
After several nervous and emotional days on campus, police arrested an 18-year-old runaway, Meechaiel Criner, and charged him with capital murder.
The case prompted an internal review at Texas Child Protective Services, which had custody of Criner. He had been living in a therapeutic foster home in Killeen but disappeared 10 days before the UT slaying.
It also prompted a safety review by the University of Texas, which called for hiring more police and security guards, improving lighting on campus, tightening access to buildings and developing policies aimed at reducing the presence of homeless people on campus.
Map and timeline: Details of the UT slaying