Murder trial starts Tuesday

Video taken at today's court hearing shows 80-year-old Clifford Beach acting confused about the legal proceedings and saying all he heard "was a bunch of lies." Beach, accused of bludgeoning his wife to death, is scheduled to stand trial Tuesday.
Scott Seitz
Feb 7, 2011

The case against a Bellevue man accused of bludgeoning his wife to death will go to trial.

Clifford W. Beach and his attorney Reese Wineman did not accept a plea agreement in Huron County Common Pleas Court today, so the trial is set to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Beach, 80, of 166 Walnut St., Bellevue, is charged with aggravated murder, murder and gross abuse of a corpse. He has been unable to post a $1 million bond since being arrested Aug. 16 and transferred to the Huron County Jail.

He is accused of killing his wife Linda Beach at their Bellevue home.

Beach appeared confused at what Judge James Conway called "the final pretrial hearing" Monday.

Beach didn't directly indicate that he understood that he was attending a pretrial hearing.

"No, I do not," he said. "All I heard was a bunch of lies."

"The state has made an offer," Conway told Beach.

"You have a right to a trial," Conway told Beach later after a short recess.

"Do you understand you're going to trial tomorrow?" the judge asked.

"I don't have anything to say about it," Beach replied.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler couldn't say much after the hearing.

"We think the case will be fairly clear," he said.

Wineman was a bit more talkative afterward.

Just recently, Beach had withdrew his plea of "not guilty by reason of insanity."

Wineman, withdrew his client's previous plea after he and Beach reviewed the report from an independent psychologist who performed a psychological evaluation on Beach. Wineman also reviewed the results of a similar examination by the state's expert.

"I think we've got a defense," Wineman said. "I've gone over and over the statement the Bellevue police took from him."

Wineman said the psychologist's opinion on the insanity situation was rushed on them late last week.

"Even though we're not using that as a defense, it gives us some insight as to what is going through Clifford's mind and what was going through his mind," he said.

"There are going to be issues," Wineman added.

"It won't be an issue on whether he caused the death," Wineman said, but added Beach's mental culpability at the time is key.

"We're also looking at in more detail what took place that afternoon," he said.

"They offered a plea to murder and would have eliminated the aggravated murder and abuse of a corpse," Wineman added about the offer from the state.

 

Comments

swiss family

Please.. if you are going to go through the time, trouble and expense of having a trial.. please decide from the start that even if they find him guilty,(how could they not) please don't let his age meanness and confusion enter into the sentencing phase here..sure he is old, sure he is ornery, and sure he killed his wife and admitted.. he should be punished in spite of all of that..he was obviously smart enough, mean enough, and sane enough to know what it took to take the life of his helpless wife.. and if you want to do the crime then for sure do the time!!!!

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