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Barry Beach


June 15, 1979. Poplar, Montana. Barry Beach has an unusual story. He confessed to the 1979 murder of his childhood friend and neighbor, Kimberly Nees. During his 1984 trial, he claimed his confession was coerced and that he was innocent. The investigation into Nees' murder and the events that took place after have shrouded the entire case in a cloud of doubt. Prosecutors, however, felt that Barry was the killer and that anything he said, or that anyone testified to later, is irrelevant. Is this a case of injustice? Or are we to believe that Barry Beach is a murderer despite the numerous questions abut the case against him? 

Sources

Timeline: Barry Beach’s efforts to prove he’s innocent Billings Gazette 

Poplar woman found in river Billings Gazette 6/17/1979

Bludgeon murder detailed Billings Gazette 4/11/2984

Louisiana lawmen detail defendant’s murder confession Billings Gazette 4/12/1984

High court upholds killer’s conviction Billings Gazette 7/26/1985

Killer’s appeal rejected Billings Gazette 2/9/1996

Clemency petitioned by group Billings Gazette 8/26/2006

Says his murder confession was false Montana Standard 2/24/2007

Quest for clemency: A young man is arrested, charged with murder Montana Standard 2/26/2007

Board denies freedom for Beach Billings Gazette 8/23/2007

Attorneys for Barry Beach petition for new trial Missoulian 1/20/2008

Montana Supreme Court orders evidentiary hearing in Beach case Billings Gazette 11/24/2009

Montana Supreme Court sends Barry Beach back to prison Missoulian 5/15/2013 

Barry Beach back in Montana State Prison, likely for rest of life Missoulian 5/16/2013

Barry Beach Clemency Request Hearing Underway ABC News 4/29/2014

Barry Beach says he's had it with Montana courts Billings Gazette 6/16/2014

Barry Beach attorneys ask Supreme Court for resentencing Billings Gazette 10/24/2014

Beach v. State of Montana Supreme Court of the State of Montana 5/5/2015

Barry Beach Clemency Request Approved, Walks Out of Jail Free Man ABC News 11/20/2015

Barry Beach, convicted murderer released by governor, under investigation Bozeman Daily Chronicle 6/25/2016 

Alleged victim in Beach investigation was 12-year-old girl Bozeman Daily Chronicle 6/29/2016

Barry Beach arrested, jailed on probation violation Billings Gazette 11/9/2016

State dismissed case against Barry Beach Billings Gazette 4/14/2017