(L to R) Prosecutor Rocky Holmes, defense attorney
Barbara Schamberger and accused William Seth Denmark,
work out plea deal with Judge David W. Nibert
A first degree murder case against William Seth Denmark related to the death of teen David Beach resulted in a plea deal Monday in Grantsville between Calhoun Prosecutor Rocky Holmes and Denmark's attorney Barbara Schamberger.
Beach, a former Calhoun resident who moved to Spencer, disappeared in 2006.
Denmark pled guilty to second degree murder Monday before Judge David W. Nibert, not requiring him to make a factual admission of the crime.
Denmark is facing up to ten years in prison, but will be given credit for two plus years already served. Sentencing is set for September 17.
Part of the deal was to seal the plea agreement, not making it available to the public.
Judge Nibert said, "There is a lot of detail," in the 15-page agreement.
Nibert said, after reviewing the case, "There is a factual basis for a plea."
The Denmark case has been beleaguered with problems, including both of his parents being charged and incarcerated over alleged multiple crimes police said were related to the alleged murder. Those charges have since been dropped.
In March, 2012, Denmark addressed the court, saying "I'm asking for mercy," citing two years of incarceration on numerous changes and without an indictment, after which he was indicted for first degree murder.
In May, Schamberger complained she had not received all the discovery from Prosecutor Rocky Holmes due in the case. Holmes explained some of the discovery items had been difficult to obtain.
Attorney Schamberger, commenting on information she had received during discovery, said "The information is not playing out."
Prosecutor Holmes acknowledged there are "new discovery issues."
Seth Denmark's incarceration has been based on testimony given by a Spencer woman who claims she saw Denmark shoot and bury Beach at the Denmark farm in 2006.
When authorities went to the property, they found the alleged grave empty.
In March, 2010, the criminal complaint says the grave-site was unearthed, and according to Prosecutor Rocky Holmes, soil and content of the grave was sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC for forensic analysis.
The latest complaint says new forensic information confirms a .38 caliber bullet was found in the grave and other samples indicating a human body was once at the site.
Cpl. Douglas Starcher, lead investigator, said in the complaint that a ".38 caliber revolver recovered in March, 2010, was identified by the eyewitness to be the murder weapon used to kill Beach."
The criminal complaint also says the .38 caliber weapon was the gun Denmark used to shoot Aaron Lloyd in the leg in 2006, during another incident.
Sources close to the investigation have said there could be problems with the forensics, although Calhoun Prosecutor Rocky Holmes told the Hur Herald in May, 2011 that, "We have a positive forensic report from the Smithsonian Institution."
Those sources also said there could be problems regarding the testimony of the key witness who claimed she was a witness to the murder.
Denmark's mother, Jackie Denmark, filed a civil rights suit in March, 2012, against Cpl. Douglas P. Starcher in U.S. District Court. Starcher is the chief investigating officer in the case.
About two weeks ago, Judge David W. Nibert dismissed a second degree murder charge against Thomas Lee Husk, based on errors apparently made by Calhoun prosecutor Rocky Holmes during a grand jury presentment in March, 2011.
Husk had been charged with the shooting of John Dale Cyrus in June, 2011. The case was to go to trial before a jury last week, with 41 potential jurors being called for selection.
The case could be refiled.
See related stories "POSITIVE" FORENSIC EVIDENCE IN DENMARK CASE - Smithsonian Examines Content Of Grave
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