Tuesday marked the final day of testimony in the disappearance and presumed murder of 19-year-old Tyler "Ty" Thomas, who went missing after a party at Peru State College in 2010.
Josh Keadle’s attorneys continued their defense. Dr. Thomas Young, a forensic pathologist, testified about hypothermia.
The defense argues Thomas was drunk, disoriented, and didn't have a coat on. An exhibit said it was below freezing the night she went missing.
"Somebody who's basically drunk can basically wander off,” said Dr. Young. “Having alcohol in their system impairs the ability to maintain warmth because the blood vessels underneath the skin are not constricted."
The defense points at her drinking and possible exposure to the cold as the reason she wasn't able to find her way back to campus.
Prosecutors questioned the witness about why a person's body temperature falls so much they die.
Dr. Young said he's performed about a dozen autopsies on people with hypothermia as the cause of death, and almost all of the time it's by accident.
Jurors did not hear that Keadle is currently serving a 15-20 year prison sentence for rape at Midland College in Fremont.
Prosecutors have suggested since the trial started that Keadle tied up Ty Thomas and shot her… not that he left her by the Missouri River to die of hypothermia.
Closing arguments will take place on Wednesday.
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