I wanted to post this yesterday but had technical difficulties with the hotel’s wifi.
Here is the raw video footage of Barry Beach’s very first moments of freedom after 29 years behind bars for the murder of Kim Nees, a crime he says he had nothing to do with.
After Judge E. Wayne Phillips ordered that Beach be released on his own recognizance, Beach was escorted out of the Fergus County Courthouse by Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Deputies.
They walked across the street to the jail, where beach gathered his personal belongings, changed into jeans and a Washington Redskins jersey, and then filled out some paperwork before walking out the front door.
About a dozen reporters, TV camera crews, even international journalists from the German ARD network were eagerly awaiting his release from the back door of the jail. We were lead to believe that’s where Barry would take his first steps of freedom.
But after about 20 minutes of eager anticipation, photographers and cameramen jockeying for position, people buzzing with excitement, we heard a car horn honking.
I walked out into the alley to see what the honking was about, and there was Beach, standing on the sidewalk by himself, a garment bag with this courtroom suit in it slung over one shoulder and a duffel bag in his hand. He looked somewhat dumbstruck and, as Jim McCloskey of Centurion Ministries later put it, Chaplin-esque.
Beach seemed dazed. I think most people imagined that if this moment ever happened, that Beach would walk out the door into the waiting arms of his mother, his family and his friends.
But when the moment finally came, Beach ultimately walked out the front door of the Fergus County Jail by himself, with no one there to immediately meet him. He took his first few free steps into that sunshine in quiet solitude. I while it probably wasn’t the way he dreamed it all those nights in Deer Lodge, I imagine there was probably something serene about not having cameras and reporters’ microphones and digital recorders shoved in his face the moment he walked out the door.
Barry Beach took his first steps of freedom on his own.
Of course, as you can see from the video, he was quickly surrounded by supporters, family and reporters. And he was very gracious and happy to oblige us with answers to our questions.
I’ll try to post a couple more videos and photos and what not when I have time. But now I have to hit the road.