UPDATE, 11:45AM Thursday, October 3:
Bean pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to one count of first degree murder. Pleas to the rest of the charges will be heard at another hearing in Yerington October 21 and no trial date has been scheduled. The death penalty is on the table as possible punishment if Bean is found guilty.
YERINGTON, NV - An arraignment has been continued until Thursday, October 3, in the murder case of Jeremiah Bean, accused of killing five people in Fernley and Mustang over Mothers' Day weekend in May 2013.
In District Court in Yerington Tuesday morning, October 1, Bean had worked out an agreement with his defense and the prosecution to plead guilty in exchange for the death penalty being taken off the table. That would have led to a sentence of life in prison.
But when the judge asked him for his plea in court to enter into the record, Bean replied, "not guilty," leading the judge to continue the hearing to allow Bean time to consider the ramifications of the death penalty. If he pleads "not guilty" again, a trial date will be set; if he pleads "guilty," a date for sentencing will be set.
Bean is accused of killing two couples in Fernley and a newspaper delivery man off the Mustang exit from Interstate 80 over a four-day period. Investigators haven't released information about a possible motive.
At a hearing in December, Bean was declared competent after doubts were raised about his mental state of mind.