Beach, 20, had been charged with an open count of murder in the shooting death of Sharolyn Keown, 18. Keown was shot the chest on Nov. 5 near a mobile home park she was living in with a boyfriend and died at the scene.
Beach fled after he allegedly shot Keown. He was arrested the next day at a motel in Aztec.
There is a big difference between a second-degree murder conviction and a first-degree murder conviction. A person convicted of second-degree murder serves up to 15 years in prison and a first-degree murder conviction comes with at least a 30 year prison sentence.
“My client's potential exposure went from life to up to 15 years, which is significant,” said Cosme Ripol, Beach's attorney.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said the office believes the homicide was a case of second-degree murder.