DEATH ROW INMATE JEFFREY HESSLER LOSES LATEST APPEAL

Posted 11 months ago

By Corey Sorenson

Jeffrey Hessler -1Jeffrey Hessler of Gering…on Nebraska’s death row for the 2003 kidnap, rape, and murder of 15-year old newspaper carrier Heather Guerrero…has lost his second motion for post-conviction relief.

In a memorandum dated September 10th, Scotts Bluff County District Judge Randall Lippstreu concludes that Hessler is not entitled to an evidentiary hearing on any issue raised in his second motion for post-conviction relief that was filed in August of 2012.

Hessler’s motion contained 17 claims, including that he was mentally ill and incompetent to stand trial, that pre-trial publicity prevented him from having an unbiased jury or fair trial, and that he was represented by ineffective counsel.

Lippstreu wrote that he had addressed and denied all those issues in rejecting Hessler’s first motion for post-conviction relief, so he was denying the second motion in its entirety.

Hessler acted as his own attorney when he was convicted of abducting Guerrero  a few blocks from her house and murdering her Feb. 11, 2003. Her body was found the next day at an abandoned house at Lake Minatare, about 12 miles from where she had disappeared.

Hessler’s conviction and death sentence were upheld by the Nebraska Supreme Court in November 2007, but in 2011 he appealed again…arguing that his trial-court lawyer should have demanded a competency hearing when Hessler moved to represent himself at his sentencing.

The state Supreme Court rejected that argument as well, saying allowing someone to serve as their own attorney did not constitute ineffective counsel and Hessler failed to show he couldn’t adequately represent himself at sentencing.