A trial over whether the drawings by a child killer sentenced to life in prison in Maine and executed in Nebraska 18 years ago can be made public began Friday, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
Mark Pettit, a former broadcaster who wrote about the slayings committed in 1982 in Maine and the following year in Nebraska by John J. Joubert, is seeking to obtain two drawings Joubert made while awaiting execution.
“He said he would consider using the drawings — which were described as depicting ‘sadistic’ images of torture and stabbings of two young boys — in a new edition of his book, ‘A Need to Kill,” the newspaper reported.
The book originally was published in 1990. It was based on prison interviews with Joubert and rereleased last year on the 30th anniversary of the slayings in Nebraska. Joubert was executed in 1996 at age 33.
“Under state law, materials kept in an inmate’s prison file are supposed to be confidential unless someone can demonstrate ‘good cause’ to release them,” the World-Herald reported.
Joubert was convicted in Nebraska of the 1983 abductions and killings of Danny Joe Eberle, 13, and Christopher Paul Walden, 12, both of Sarpy County, according to the Bangor Daily News archives. Joubert had been an airman stationed at Offutt Air Force Base when those crimes took place.
After his conviction in Nebraska, Joubert was extradited to Maine to stand trial for the August 1982 murder of 11-year-old Richard Statson of Portland. He was convicted by a jury in October 1990 and sentenced to life in prison.
Pettit, who now runs a marketing firm in Atlanta, testified for the prosecution at Joubert’s trial in Maine, according to Bangor Daily News archives.
Joubert unsuccessfully appealed his extradition all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, citing Maine’s lack of a death penalty and his desire to remain in a Maine prison. That appeal was denied and he was sent back to Nebraska.
Nebraska originally had allowed Joubert to be returned to Maine, his home state, under an extradition agreement that stipulated he would be sent back within 10 days of sentencing. He remained in Maine for six months while filing his appeals.
Information about when the Nebraska judge might issue a decision in the lawsuit over the release of the drawings was not available Friday night.