YERINGTON, NV - Accused murderer Jeremiah Bean has decided to let a jury decide his fate. Thursday in Lyon County District Court, Bean pleaded not guilty to first degree murder. But after uttering those first words, court was adjourned before he could make pleas on his remaining murder charges. This has led to a domino effect involving his defense attorney, the charges and the death penalty.
“I was under the full understanding that Mr. Bean would be entering guilty pleas today,” said John Arrascada, Jeremiah Bean's attorney.
But that didn't happen.
“As to count one, how do you plead: guilty or not guilty?” asked Judge William Rogers.
“Not guilty,” replied Bean.
Daughter-in-law to two of the murder victims Terry Pape was emotional at Thursday's hearing, crying when she heard the defendant's response.
For the second time in a week, Jeremiah Bean disregarded a plea bargain struck with the district attorney, and has in essence let a jury decide his fate.
That fate could include the death penalty should he be found guilty of now 19 charges.
”He will face 19 counts. We will file a notice of intent to seek the death penalty in all likelihood,” says William Rye, Assistant Lyon County District Attorney.
Back in May, Bean was arrested for the murder of two elderly couples in his neighborhood, along with a man who tried to help him with the truck Bean was driving just off Interstate 80.
That truck, along with other items in Bean's possession, were not his, and linked him to the murders, county investigators say.
But Bean's change of plans has other ramifications on this case.
The change of plea means Bean's attorney, John Arrascada, will ask to be removed from the case.
The judiciary is going to have to find another death penalty-qualified attorney to take his place.
All or some of this, including when Bean's murder trial begins, could be made at an October 21st hearing.
While members of Jeremiah Bean's family were in court Thursday, Arrascada says his client's decision to plead not guilty was his and his alone.
Just as his family wants it.