Beach Attorneys Dispute Former Governor’s Letter

By Beacon Staff

GREAT FALLS – Attorneys for a Montana prisoner serving a 100-year murder sentence are disputing a letter opposing his release by the former governor who prosecuted him.

Former Montana Attorney General and Gov. Marc Racicot wrote to the state’s parole board that there has been no change in Barry Beach’s circumstances that would justify a new investigation since he was denied clemency in 2007.

Beach has applied for clemency after serving 30 years in prison for the 1979 beating death of 17-year-old Kim Nees.

The Great Falls Tribune reports Beach attorney Terrance Toavs wrote an answer to Racicot on May 2.

Toavs says Racicot failed to mention a district judge found enough new evidence to release Beach in 2011 while awaiting a new trial. That order was reversed by the state Supreme Court.

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