Barry Beach Turns Himself In - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Barry Beach Turns Himself In

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BILLINGS -

It's back to a prison cell for convicted killer Barry Beach following a year and a half of freedom.

Beach handed himself over to Yellowstone County Sheriff's authorities Wednesday morning, to be sent back to the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge.

It was not a decision those close to Barry Beach, like friend Stella Ziegler, ever expected.

"We always knew that there was a possibility that this would happen but we never dreamt it would," says Ziegler.

After spending the last year and a half as a free man, Beach is heading back to the same prison a district court judge freed him from in 2011. On Tuesday the state Supreme Court issued a ruling saying the judge "erred" when he ordered a new trial for the convicted killer. Beach had served 28 years in prison for the murder of Kimberley Nees in Poplar, Montana. For now, it appears Beach will have to serve the remainder of his 100-year prison sentence with no chance of parole.

"He was a very productive citizen paying taxes working, doing all the things that you should do, trying to get thirty years of his life back and just to have it all pulled out in such a fast unreal situation is just mind boggling to us," says Ziegler.

Centurion Ministries is a nonprofit group dedicated to winning the release of people it believes have been unjustly convicted and sentenced to life in prison or who are on death row. The group's founder, James McCloskey, is meeting with Beach's legal team to form a new plan.

"We're ready to do battle again and try and get this most recent setback righted," says McCloskey.

Despite no new trial for Beach, McCloskey and Beach's attorneys say they are ready to fight back.

"We're going to go forward and do our best to once again free Barry after however long it might take of his past and now current false imprisonment for a crime he has nothing to do with," says McCloskey.

Montana Justice Department officials say Beach was tried and convicted in 1984 based largely on his confession to the crime. They say he has since provided no evidence to irrefutably prove his innocence. Even so, Beach's supporters remain hopeful.

"We still have to remain high and powerful and believe that something good will still come out of it," says Ziegler.

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