Montana Supreme Court Rejects Barry Beach Appeal

Convicted murderer who maintains innocence in 1979 beating death of a classmate will file new appeal

By Tristan Scott

HELENA — The Montana Supreme Court has rejected a re-sentencing request from a man convicted of killing his high-school classmate in 1979.

Barry Beach had argued that his 100-year prison sentence should be reduced after a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision limited the sentencing of juveniles to life sentences.

The court’s 4-3 decision was released on Tuesday. The majority of justices say the 2012 federal ruling does not apply to people who were convicted before that decision.

Beach was convicted of murder in 1984 in the beating death of Kimberly Nees. Both were 17 when Nees died.

Beach attorney Pete Camiel says he is disappointed in the decision. He says Beach plans to file a new appeal when a new law expanding the governor’s clemency powers takes effect on Oct. 1.

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