Joshua Keadle sentenced to 71 years for 2010 murder of Peru student

Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 3:46 PM CDT
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BEATRICE, Neb. (WOWT) - Joshua Keadle was sentenced Wednesday in Gage County court to 71 years in prison for the murder of Omaha 19-year-old Tyler Thomas in 2010.

First Judicial District Court Judge Rick Schreiner handed down the sentencing. Keadle will be eligible for parole in 35 years.

At the start of the hearing, Keadle’s attorney withdrew the motion for a new trial.

Thomas’ family then addressed the court.

Keadle, 37, was facing 20 years to life for second-degree murder after he was found guilty in February. Originally set for sentencing in April, the process was delayed a handful of times due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Keadle is already serving a 15- to 20-year sentence for the rape of a 15-year-old in Dodge County, but he’s already eligible for parole in that 2012 case.

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. It’s believed that she was thrown into the Missouri River not far from where she attended college at Peru State.

Keadle admitted to having been with Thomas near a boat dock and leaving her by herself on that cold December night.

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