Suspect in Arizona professor’s shooting death summoned in court

Oct 21, 2022, 6:00 PM
A memorial for University of Arizona professor Thomas Meixner is seen outside the school's Departme...

A memorial for University of Arizona professor Thomas Meixner is seen outside the school's Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences building in Tucson, Ariz., on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022. Authorities say Murad Dervish, a former graduate student accused of fatally shooting the professor on campus earlier this month, has been indicted on seven felony charges including first-degree murder. (AP Photo/Terry Tang)

(AP Photo/Terry Tang)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A former University of Arizona graduate student accused of fatally shooting a professor on campus earlier this month has been arraigned on first-degree murder and multiple other charges.

Pima County officials say 46-year-old Murad Dervish had his arraignment Thursday shortly after a judge ordered he remain held without bond.

He also faces counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited possessor, endangerment and burglary.

Dervish was originally scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

It was still unclear if a public defender had been assigned to his case.

Dervish is accused of killing Thomas Meixner, who headed the school’s Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences and was an expert on desert water issues.

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

The relationship between Dervish and Meixner remains unclear, but a criminal complaint said a flyer with a photograph of Dervish had been circulated to university staff in February with instructions to call 911 if he ever entered the building.

The complaint also said Dervish was “expelled” and “barred from being on University of Arizona property” and he had been the subject of several reports of harassment and threats to staff members working at Harshbarger.

University officials say campus police tried to get Dervish charged two separate times before the shooting. But county prosecutors said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him with threats or intimidation.

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Suspect in Arizona professor’s shooting death summoned in court