The family attorney of Tyler Thomas says the first-degree murder charges filed against Joshua W. Keadle, 36 is one step closer to bringing justice to the December 2010 case of the missing Peru State College student.
Vince Powers, an attorney from Lincoln who represented the Thomas family in a wrongful death lawsuit against Keadle said it’s been difficult for the family to experience the loss of their daughter and know there’s evidence out there that incriminates the killed, and not have it followed up for seven years.
“The parents wanted this day and they want the conviction – as any parent would,” said Powers.
Powers told 3 News Now he reached out to Nebraska Attorney Doug Peterson more than a year ago, asking him to take a look at the case against Keadle because the evidence was there.
On Tuesday afternoon, the AG’s office said in a statement, the AG’s office has been appointed as special prosecutors in the case; the Nehama County Attorney’s office will assist.
“They were warriors on behalf of their daughter and demanding justice and they weren’t about to let their daughter’s memory fade,” said Powers.
Keadle is currently serving a prison sentence for sexual assault. Powers said Keadle would be eligible for parole in about a year, which put a time clock on an already delayed case.
“Unlike other cases, the suspect wasn’t going anywhere. But he had a parole hearing in a year and given the state of our prisons with overcrowding, they’re letting people out and once he was out, he was going to be gone,” said Powers.
Powers said even if the AG’s office didn’t take the case, he would have launched a petition drive to impanel a grand jury to hear evidence in the killing because he promised Thomas’s family justice would be served against Keadle.