OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Nebraska Supreme Court released its decision on Friday in theappeal of Joshua Keadle, who was convicted of second-degree murder for the death of Peru State student and Omahan, Tyler Thomas. The court affirmed Keadle's conviction.
Keadle's attorney Jeff Pickens argued the appeal to the Nebraska Supreme Court in November of 2021 and said there was insufficent evidence to establish what’s called ‘corpus delicti' a.ka. 'beyond a reasonable doubt.'
Pickens said there was no forensic or blood evidence and that while he made admissions to authorities, he never confessed.
The Nebraska Attorney General's office said in December of 2010, Keadle drove Thomas to the Missouri River in Peru, they performed a sex act and then he refused to take her to Omaha, Thomas's hometown.
The state said that gave Keadle motive to kill Thomas, and the murder was backed up by GPS evidence and witness testimony, including a former jail inmate with Keadle.
In a report, the court explained the reason it upheld the conviction:
"Tyler Thomas, a student at Peru State College (PSC) in Peru, Nebraska, has been missing since the early morning hours of December 3, 2010. Her body has never been found. Joshua W. Keadle is the last person known to have seen Thomas alive. In 2017, Keadle was charged with first degree murder in connec- tion with Thomas’ disappearance. A jury found Keadle guilty of second degree murder, and he was sentenced to prison. Keadle appeals, assigning only that the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to establish the corpus delicti of homicide. Finding no merit to this assignment, we affirm."
It took years for prosecutors to have enough to charge Keadle, his arrest coming around seven years after the crime.
Keadle is eligible for parole in 2051.