Billings prosecutor drops charge against Barry Beach - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Billings prosecutor drops charge against Barry Beach

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Barry Beach will not go to trial in Billings this week. On Friday, city prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss their charges against him.

According to court documents at the time the City of Billings filed the charges against Beach, it did so under an objective belief that probable cause existed based on facts and evidence known at the time.  Those documents also state developments in the case have made it unlikely that the City of Billings could meet its burden to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. Court documents also state an important part of meeting this burden is testimony from the victim which is made less likely by the "media's unmitigated fascination" with Beach. Without the victim's testimony, a conviction is unlikely.

The motion also  states  that after discussions with the victim, her attorney and law enforcement involved in the investigation of the case, the parties agree that justice is better served by allowing the victim to move on with her life rather than seeking an unlikely conviction against Beach that would likely result in his return to prison.

This all started when the victim, the mother of Beach's child, filed an order of protection against Beach.  In that protection order it stated  Beach continually harassed her and she feared for her and her child's safety. A week later she called police and said Beach violated the order. The order of protection was vacated after the woman failed to show up for the hearing.

Beach isn't in the clear yet.  According to Beach's attorney on April 28th Beach is scheduled to appear in court in Wolf Point for a hearing on a probation violation. The Montana Attorney General's office says it will pursue a revocation of Beach's suspended sentence for the 1979 murder of Poplar teenager Kim Nees, meaning Beach may go back to prison to serve the remainder of his 100 year sentence.

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