Joshua Keadle was sentenced to 71 years for the second-degree murder of 19-year-old college student Tyler Thomas who disappeared in December 2010
He was the last person to see Thomas and gave a constantly changing account off events
Keadle, 38, who is already serving time for an unrelated rape conviction of a minor was found guilty of murdering a Nebraska college student whose body was never found after she vanished 10 years ago
Keadle who was found guilty in February maintains he’s innocent, although he chose not to testify at his trial
The victim’s father said before the sentencing on Wednesday in a Nebraska court that Keadle ‘does not deserve any leniency for what he has done’
Loved ones of Thomas hugged and cried after the sentence was read
A jury awarded the victim’s family $2.6billion in a wrongful death lawsuit, but It’s unlikely Thomas’ family will ever collect on the award, because Keadle doesn’t have the assets to pay
Keadle will be eligible for parole in 35 years when he’s 73 years old
Joshua Keadle [L-R], was sentenced to 71 years for second-degree murder on Wednesday in the death of Tyler ‘Ty’ Thomas. Keadle who was arrested in 2016 had been a person of interest in the disappearance and by then was serving time in prison for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl in 2008 in Fremont
A sex assault convict was sentenced Wednesday to 71 years to life in prison in the death of a Nebraska college student whose body has never been found since she vanished in 2010.
Already serving time for an unrelated crime Joshua Keadle protested his innocence, having refused to testify at his own trial.
Loved ones of Tyler Thomas hugged and cried after 38-year-old Joshua Keadle was sentenced for second-degree murder in the killing following his conviction by a jury in February.
On Wednesday in court, Keadle maintained that he is innocent and told the court he feels guilty seeing Thomas’ grandmother cry.
‘I’m sorry for the choices I made. I feel responsible for Tyler not being here, [but] I did not kill Tyler Thomas,’ Keadle told the 10 family members present.
He was convicted in February for the murder of Tyler Thomas who disappeared in December 2010. He was sentenced Wednesday to serve 35 years to life in prison.
Keadle initially told investigators he was not with Thomas on the night she disappeared. He later changed his story and claimed he left her at a Missouri River boat ramp before she vanished.
‘I’m sorry, I know that’s not good enough. You are the last person I see every night before I go to sleep. I did not kill Tyler and I’m sorry for that.’
The sentencing hearing was delayed because of COVID-19 concerns but on Wednesday Thomas’ loved ones got some justice.
‘We haven’t been able to heal, we can’t really mourn, we don’t have a body to bury. We don’t have that closure…. we don’t have that,’ Thomas’ mother LaTanya said, KMTV reports.
‘I still don’t know where she [Tyler] is. I always hoped during all of this that we would find out where she is and what he did to her. It’s gonna be a start of our healing, I think more than what we expected to be because we’ve been holding our breath for a long time.’
Thomas was 19 when she disappeared in December 2010 after the Omaha student left a party near Peru State College in southeastern Nebraska, where Keadle also was a student, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
Keadle initially told investigators he was not with Thomas on the night she disappeared.
Still protesting his innocence after his conviction for murder, Keadle told the family in court: ‘I’m sorry, I know that’s not good enough. You are the last person I see every night before I go to sleep. I did not kill Tyler and I’m sorry for that’
The victim’s father Kevin Seamans, [left], said before the sentencing on Wednesday in a Nebraska court that Keadle ‘does not deserve any leniency for what he has done’. ‘We no longer smile just because we’re happy,’ Thomas’ younger brother, Dillon Thomas [right], said
But he said she later reneged on the arrangement, and after an argument broke out, he left her behind at a Missouri River boat ramp near campus.
During a search of the boat launch, a deputy said he saw tire tracks matching Keadle’s SUV, and what appeared to be drag marks leading to the river bank.
Earlier that year, an 18-year-old student told authorities that he took her to the same boat launch and threatened to push her in the Missouri River if she didn’t have sex with him.
Weeks before Thomas’ disappearance, Keadle was accused of sexually harassing two female students in a co-ed dorm.
In 2013, the state issued a death certificate for Thomas.
A jury found Keadle liable in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Thomas’ family and ordered him to pay $2.6billion.
It’s unlikely Thomas’ family will ever collect on the award, because Keadle doesn’t have the assets to pay it.