Supreme Court To Hear Latest Hessler Appeal In Feb

LINCOLN – The Nebraska Supreme Court in February is slated to hear the latest appeal by death row inmate Jeffrey Hessler of Gering, convicted for the 2003 kidnap, rape, and murder of 15-year-old Gering newspaper delivery girl Heather Guerrero.

Hessler filed a motion for post-conviction relief challenging his death sentence as violating the 6th and 14th Amendments of the U-S Constitution as well as a U-S Supreme Court decision in a Florida case.

He also challenges Nebraska use of a 3-judge panel to impose the death penalty as violating the 8th Amendment and another Supreme Court ruling giving juries the final say in capital punishment cases.

Other judges have upheld the Nebraska system since the judges can’t impose a death sentence unless a jury had already approved it.

Scotts Bluff County District Judge Andrea Miller denied Hessler’s amended motion for post-conviction relief in June and he filed his appeal with the state Supreme Court the next month.

Hessler has lost multiple appeals, including his first motion for post-conviction relief in 2007 which argued 8 different errors in his trial. The Nebraska Supreme Court rejected all of them and confirmed his convictions and sentence.

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