YERINGTON, NV - He's accused of going on a killing spree over four days. That alleged spree involved: shooting a Fernley couple and a man just off I-80. Then prosecutors say he went back to his neighborhood and shot and stabbed two more people who lived nearby. Jeremiah Bean was supposed to enter a guilty plea in Lyon County District Court Tuesday morning. When he didn't, all certainty was off.
It's been 4 months since we last saw Jeremiah Bean.
At that time he appeared in Justice Court in Fernley, the same town where he allegedly killed four residents over a four-day period.
Here in Lyon County District Court, his shaved head has grown back, and he has a new defense attorney, John Arrascada.
What was to happen here had already been preplanned.
The district attorney's office had taken the death penalty off the table; that was when Bean agreed to plead guilty to 5 first-degree murder charges.
“As to count one, murder in the first degree with a deadly weapon on a person over 60 years old, how do you plea?” asked Judge William Rogers from Lyon County District Court.
“Not guilty,” Bean replied.
The move was a surprise to everyone, including Terry Pape, whose parents were allegedly Bean's first victims.
“I don't want my husband to see his parents dead and his dad's own face missing. The mortuary, they worked all night long so he could kiss his parents goodbye,” says Pape.
For the district attorney's office this means additional paperwork to be filed with the court.
“We will file an amended information and notice of intent to seek the death penalty,” says Stephen Rye, assistant district attorney for Lyon County.
After a 15-minute break, Judge Rogers told Bean he wanted the defendant to sleep on his decision, and set another court hearing for this Thursday morning where much could change.
“At that point the judge would have to decide if Mr. Bean and I now have irreconcilable differences, and if that's the case I would be removed from the case,” says John Arrascada, Bean's current attorney.
Much could change on Thursday depending upon what Bean decides to do; he could get a new attorney, he could face the death penalty, and victims' families could go through several weeks of a murder trial.
Whatever Jeremiah Bean decides to do on Thursday, Judge William Rogers conceded Tuesday, in court, the defendant will likely spend the rest of this life in prison if convicted, or if Bean decides to plead guilty.