HELENA – The state is asking a judge who was recently appointed to hear Barry Beach’s arguments for a new murder trial to appoint yet another judge to hear the case.
Assistant Attorney General Brant Light filed the motion on April 20 requesting that District Judge Nels Swandal of Livingston appoint a replacement. A spokesman declined to comment on the state’s motion.
Swandal was assigned the case on April 2 after the Montana Supreme Court ordered District Judge David Cybulski to appoint a new judge.
Beach is serving a life sentence after being convicted in the 1979 beating death of 17-year-old Kim Nees on the Fort Peck Reservation. Beach’s legal team wants a judge to hear new evidence that links a group of girls to Nees’ death in an effort to get a new trial.
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