BEATRICE – When a three-week trial charging a man with murder gets underway January 27th, Gage County citizens will be subject to increased security procedures at the Gage County Courthouse.


The trial of Joshua Keadle, charged with murder in the disappearance of former Peru State College student Tyler Thomas, was moved to Gage County on a change of venue from Nemaha County.


"We will have a screening station downstairs. It will be on the first floor. The only entrance available will be the lower, first floor entrance. Everyone will be screened going through there. It will be similar to what you do at an airport".


Gage County Sheriff’s Sergeant Bryan Davidson supervises courthouse security.


"There'll be a baggage screener to screen all carry-on baggage or packages or boxes....and then each person will be walking through a metal detector".
A pool of about 70 prospective jurors is expected to be summoned to the courthouse on January 27th.
Davidson says, "They will be coming in, expecting to be screened at 8:30. With that in mind, we would like all patrons to know that if they have business to do Monday morning the 27th, it would be better to wait until late in the morning, or the afternoon....because it's going to be congested for a while".


Davidson says security personnel will be meeting with employees of the various county offices about what will take place. Identification badges for employees are recommended. The security set-up, Davidson says, will likely be in place at the middle of next week.


Under normal circumstances involving county and district court cases, the screening station is located on the third floor of the courthouse.