INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a Michigan City man's murder conviction, habitual offender enhancement and 75-year prison term for the 2015 slaying of 31-year-old Nekia Hyler.
In a 3-0 decision, the appellate judges rejected a claim by Alan Landry, 40, that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction for shooting Hyler in the neck, through the open driver's side window of her car, while she was parked in the 300 block of Holliday Street.
Landry argued in his appeal there was no direct evidence linking him to Hyler’s murder, such as an eyewitness or a murder weapon, nor was there any DNA, blood or fingerprint evidence, and none of Hyler's belongings were found in his possession.
But the court noted that a murder conviction can be based solely on circumstantial evidence, and declared this case featured enough circumstantial evidence to support the jury's verdict.
Specifically, the crime scene suggested Hyler's phone was stolen by her attacker, Landry and Hyler's phones were tracked by satellite to the same places at the same times following the shooting, and the last recorded location of Hyler's phone was near Landry's home, according to court records.
In addition, court records indicate that a photo taken by Hyler shortly before the shooting shows a person consistent with Landry's appearance standing near her car, and Landry's phone contained a photo of a .38 caliber handgun that could have been the murder weapon.
"The evidence directly supported the verdict of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and was sufficient to support Landry’s conviction," the court said.
Court records suggest Landry's motive for killing Hyler was to prevent his wife from discovering that he had a sexual affair with Hyler, who he met online.
Landry's 60-year sentence for Hyler's murder was enhanced by 15 years for his multiple prior felony convictions, including robbery, according to court records.
Landry currently is incarcerated in a Kentucky federal prison on an unrelated conviction. He'll begin serving time in Indiana in 2022.