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Judge considering motion to delay Keadle trial after prosecutors turn over computer data
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Judge considering motion to delay Keadle trial after prosecutors turn over computer data

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BEATRICE — Joshua Keadle’s attorney says he needs more time to prepare for the upcoming murder trial for the 2010 killing of a Peru State College student.

Tyler "Ty” Thomas of Omaha disappeared early Dec. 3, 2010, while walking back to campus from a party.

Her body was never found.

Keadle, 37, quickly was named as a person of interest and was said to have been the last person to see Thomas alive. Prosecutors didn’t charge him until 2017.

The case had been moved to Beatrice for a three-week trial set to start Sept. 16. Last week, Keadle’s attorney, Jeff Pickens of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, filed a motion for a continuance, which led to a hearing Friday afternoon.

Pickens told District Judge Rick Schreiner that Thursday prosecutors turned over 93 gigabytes of data, obtained from an examination of two computers, one of them Thomas', as evidence in the case.

"In all sincerity, it's impossible for us to be prepared by then," Pickens said of the trial date currently set.

He asked for a delay of at least four weeks to go through the information.

Pickens said since April he had been trying to get the information from the Nebraska Attorney General's office so he could review what was on Thomas' computer in the weeks and months before her disappearance.

The laptop had been seized from a Peru State dorm room nine years ago but wasn't fully analyzed by State Patrol investigators until more recently.

At the end, Schreiner said he wasn't interested in placing blame for who was responsible. He took the motion under advisement, saying he planned to make a decision by Monday.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger.

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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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