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Jury finds Josh Keadle guilty of second degree murder in death of Tyler Thomas

Posted: 11:51 AM, Feb 13, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-13 19:11:28-05

BEATRICE, Neb. (KMTV) — It was an emotional breath of relief for Tyler Thomas’ family when convicted sex offender Joshua Keadle was held responsible for the 19-year-old’s death on Thursday.

She went missing after a night of partying. It’s unclear exactly what happened but jurors say Keadle took Thomas down to the Missouri River and wasn’t going to let her come back after she accused him of raping her.

Thomas’ family was lost for words.

“I’m just overwhelmed right now. Not much I can say,” said Latanya Thomas, Tyler’s mother.

“I feel real good. I feel better. I’m happy with what’s happened,” said D.J. Thomas, Tyler’s brother.

WATCH: The verdict is read in the Josh Keadle trial

Verdict read in Josh Keadle trial

Keadle was already serving a 15-to-20 year sentence for rape in Dodge County and was eligible for parole on that conviction this year.

“It gives me comfort that he’s not going to be on the streets and there will be more to come when he gets sentenced,” said Kevin Semans, Tyler’s father. “People will finally find out what kind of monster that guy really was.”

Days after Thomas went missing from Peru, Keadle was a person of interest in her disappearance. But years passed and he was never charged.

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson says the plea from Thomas’ family and the confidence of investigators helped move it forward.

“We had to wait a period of time before we could be in a position to legally be able to make a determination she was dead,” Peterson said. “Once that time period had been met we were in a position to take the evidence that we had and trust in our judicial system and trust in the jury to present that evidence and get this type of verdict.”

Keadle didn’t show any emotion after court.

Thomas’ family wants prosecutors and the jury to know how much it means to them to have justice for Tyler.

Keadle faces 20-years-to-life in prison for the 2nd degree murder conviction. He’ll be sentenced on April 29.

The jury deliberated for about 8 hours over two days to make their final decision.

Previous coverage:

Day 12 of the Joshua Keadle murder trial

Day 11 of the Joshua Keadle murder trial

Day 10 of the Joshua Keadle murder trial
Day 9 of the Joshua Keadle murder trial
Day 9 of the Joshua Keadle murder trial
Day 8 of the Joshua Keadle murder trial
Day 8 of the Joshua Keadle murder trial
Day 7 of the Joshua Keadle murder trial
Day 6 of the Joshua Keadle murder trial

Day 5 of the Joshua Keadle murder trial

Day 4 of the Joshua Keadle murder trial

Day 3 of the Joshua Keadle murder trial

Day 2 of the Joshua Keadle murder trial

Day 1 of the Joshua Keadle murder trial

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