Bean jury seated; Fernley residents still shocked by violence

LYON COUNTY, Nev. ( & KRNV) --Opening arguments are slated to begin at 9 a.m. on July 16, 2015 in the murder trial of Jeremiah Bean. He's accused in the murders of five people in Fernley during what prosecutors call a four day crime spree that happened in May of 2013.

The neighborhood where some of the crimes occurred is normally quiet, but just before Mother's Day two years ago, investigators say the scene was very different.
Proscutors say Bean broke into the home of Robert and Dorothy Pape. They say Bean shot and killed the elderly couple before stealing items including cash and jewelry. Investigators believe Bean then broke into another home down the street on Tamsen Road where 67-year-old Angie Duff lived. Prosecutors say Bean killed Duff and her friend, Lester Lieber, using a gun and a knife. The criminal complaint says Bean stole a pick-up truck from the Pape's home and drove west on I-80 where the truck got stuck in a ditch off the Mustang exit. Prosecutors say that is where Bean's fifth victim was killed, 52-year-old Eliazar Graham. The criminal complaint says Bean stole Graham's truck driving it back to the Pape's home where they say Bean set the truck on fire burning the Pape's home. Investigators say Bean lived two doors down from Duff; however, they do not believe he knew the victims.

Residents in the town said they remember the crime like it happened yesterday. Jacqueline Nichols said, "It is just heartbreaking that in this tiny town somebody would be so evil."

Bean sat in a Yerington courtroom as a jury was seated this afternoon in his trial. Jury selection began on Monday. The State is seeking the death penalty.
Initially, Bean had agreed to plead guilty, in exchange the State would not seek the death penalty. But he changed his mind surprising his own attorney at the time.
Earlier this year, a Yerington District Judge ruled for a second time Bean was competent to stand trial.

Some Fernley residents believe if he is convicted he should get the maximum sentence. Joann Spotted Bear said, "Yes, I think he should get the death penalty." Others said the series of crimes has left a permenant mark on the community. Emily Downing said, "It is such a small community. Its often said through town, 'Fernley is family' so it is hard to imagine something so tragic happening to some people here."

The trial is expected to last several weeks.
close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off