BEATRICE, Neb. - Joshua Keadle has been convicted of second-degree murder for killing Peru State student Tyler Thomas in December 2010.
The jury reached the verdict on Thursday afternoon.
The charges brought against Keadle were for first-degree murder, but the jury found him guilty on a lesser offense.
Prosecutors stated that Thomas was killed at a Missouri River boat ramp area east of Peru and dumped in the river. The defense contended the theory lacked proof and Keadle denied a role in her death.
Thomas disappeared Dec. 3, 2010, after leaving a party near the southeast Nebraska campus. Although her body was never found, the state issued a death certificate for Thomas in 2013.
Prosecutors charged Keadle in 2017.
In response to the verdict, Attorney General Doug Peterson released the following statement:
“I greatly appreciate law enforcement’s extraordinary effort in not giving up on this case and the excellent work done by the prosecution team,” Peterson said.
Additionally, Peterson said, “While we have never been able to bring Thomas’ body home, we are hopeful that today’s verdict will bring her family some semblance of closure from their long years of uncertainty and suffering.”
Keadle will be sentenced on April 29. He faces a 20 years to life sentence as a result of his conviction for Thomas’ death.
Keadle was also convicted in 2012 for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl while he was attending Midland Lutheran College on a football scholarship