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Delaware County judge denies convicted murderer’s request for new trial

Marcus Hanyard, 29, of Muncie. (Provided Photo/Department of Corrections)

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — A Delaware Circuit Court judge on Wednesday denied a convicted murderer’s petition for a new trial following his claims of prosecutorial misconduct.

Marcus Hanyard, 29, was convicted of murder, conspiracy to commit burglary, and unlawful possession of a firearm in February 2018.

On Feb. 9, 2017, Hanyard broke into a home belonging to a “well-known drug dealer” in Muncie and fatally shot Zack Farmer in the head, chest, and legs.

Court documents say that Hanyard originally spoke with Matt Fisher and three other people about robbing the dealer, Isaiah Davis, of his drugs and money.

Fisher, who bought drugs from Davis, told Hanyard he would give “information about where the drugs would be located” and “how many people were in the home.”

The day before the murder, Davis reached out to Fisher, wanting to buy pain meds from him. When Fisher informed Hanyard of how much marijuana and Xanax Davis had, court papers say Hanyard responded with, “‘we should hit the lick,’” meaning rob Davis.

Farmer and another person were at Davis’ home when Hanyard broke in. A week after the shooting, Hanyard told Fisher that he’d been in a shootout at Davis’ home, and his leg had a graze wound from a bullet.

Court documents say that the wound was seen by many people, including law enforcement, after the murder. Investigators also confirmed that Hanyard’s cell phone records confirmed he was near Davis’ home within minutes of the shooting.

After his trial, Hanyard was sentenced to 61 years in federal prison. Hanyard soon after appealed his convictions, raising the issue if the state provided sufficient evidence to convict him or not. The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected his arguments in January 2019.

Then, on May 13, 2022, Hanyard petitioned for post-conviction relief “which alleged various grounds for a new trial.” Hanyard’s new arguments claimed that during his trial, he received ineffective counsel and was denied the right of counsel.

Hanyard’s other arguments say that there were “a number of free standing claims of error,” as well as newly discovered evidence that “would require his convictions be vacated.”

A court hearing on the petition was held on Aug. 16, 2023, in which all of Hanyard’s claims were denied.

The judge ruled that Hanyard’s issues with prosecutorial misconduct, counsel, evidence, and claims of error were not raised at the time of Hanyard’s direct appeal.

Hanyard was being held in the Indiana Department of Correction. Online jail records say his earliest possible release date is Feb. 7, 2066.

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