Beach attorney asks court to reconsider ruling
LEWIS AND CLARK COUNTY
The attorney for convicted murderer Barry Beach is asking the state Supreme Court to reconsider its decision that put Beach back in prison after 1 ½ years of freedom.
Attorney Terrance Toavs said in the petition for rehearing filed Tuesday that the Supreme Court originally ordered a 2011 hearing to determine the credibility of new evidence that Beach did not kill his 17-year-old classmate, Kim Nees, near Poplar in 1979.
But, Toavs says, the majority of justices in the recent 4-3 decision "discarded wholesale" District Judge E. Wayne Phillips' findings from that hearing and instead applied a new standard of review in the case.
The ruling said Phillips gave too much weight to testimony offered by new witnesses who said Nees was killed in an out-of-control fight among girls.