A Fergus County District Court Judge has set a bond hearing for Barry Beach, the man convicted of the 1979 slaying of a Poplar teenager.
District Judge E. Wayne Phillips has set the hearing for Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Fergus County Courthouse in Lewistown.
Last month Phillips found that new evidence in Beach’s case was credible and granted
Beach a new trial. That ruling effectively vacated Beach’s original 1985 conviction, so in the eyes of the law Beach is now charged with the crime. Beach’s legal team says he should be released on bail pending a new trial, and they filed a petition for bail on Tuesday.
“We are actually very glad the judge set the hearing as soon as he did,” said Peter Camiel, one of Beach’s attorney. “It is our hope that by the end of the day Wednesday Barry can experience freedom for the first time in almost 30 years.”
Beach was arrested in January of 1983 and has been in custody ever since. Camiel said he will argue to Phillips that Beach is not a flight risk and is not a danger to the community.
“In fact Barry welcomes the chance at a new trial to have a new jury hear the evidence,” Camiel said. “He and his defense team believe a new jury would find him not guilty.”