State High Court denies new trial for David Phelps

LINCOLN - The Nebraska Supreme Court has refused to grant a new trial for the man accused of kidnapping a 9-year-old Norfolk girl in 1987.  David Phelps was convicted of kidnapping Jill Cutshall, but has maintained his innocence, and several times appealed his conviction. In the latest filing, Phelps said a diary that came to light in a 2012 Valley County case provided new evidence, and he asked for a new trial.  The diary, thought by prosecutors in the Valley County case to be a fake, contained stories of the abduction, rape and murder of four women, including one referred to as “Jill Dee.”  The state high court ruled that the diary was not enough evidence to reopen the case.  In a 6-0 decision, the court said too much time had passed since Phelps’ conviction for newly discovered evidence to merit a new trial. In the written ruling, Judge Kenneth Stephan (steven) said the allegations about the diary fall far short of the level needed to reopen the case, and he referred to Phelps’ allegations as “speculative.”