Montana News

Dec 7, 2011 6:56 PM by Drew Trafton

Beach released from prison without bond, will live in Billings

LEWISTOWN, MT - Barry Beach is re-entering society for the first time in nearly 29 years.

Beach was convicted in 1983 for the 1979 beating death of the Poplar teen, and had since been serving out a 100 year sentence in the Montana State Prison.

A hearing was held in Lewistown in August to to determine if there was sufficient evidence to grant a new trial, and on November 23rd, Judge E. Wayne Phillips of Fergus County issued his ruling granting a new trial.

During Wednesday's bond hearing in Lewistown, Judge Phillips ruled that Beach will be released on his own recognizance, pending the start of a new trial.

The crowd attending Beach's bond hearing erupted in applause after hearing the decision.

Due to the fact that Beach does not have any money, Judge Phillips said that offering a bond of any monetary amount would not do Beach any good.

During the ruling, Judge Phillips stated that the court has not determined Beach's innocence and reminded the courtroom of the victim.

"We must not forget that Kim Nees was brutally murdered," Phillips added. "This is not a clean wash for this court."

Phillips says even if a trial finds Beach guilty, he may also be released on time served.

Billings resident James Ziegler will provide Beach with a place to live and help him actively seek employment.

Judge Phillips ordered Ziegler to report any bail violations.

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