Man accepts plea in '08 killing of girlfriend - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Man accepts plea in '08 killing of girlfriend

Paul Beam to serve 22 years in death of Lisa Berrie

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Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 11:00 pm

An Oro Valley man has accepted a plea agreement that would land him in prison for more than two decades for the 2008 killing of his girlfriend.

Paul Beam, 37, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder in the death Lisa M. Berrie, 25. Under the agreement, Beam would serve 22 years in prison.

Beam was convicted of first-degree murder in November 2009. That conviction was thrown out after Beam's defense attorney, Darlene Edminson-O'Brien, uncovered evidence that a juror had not been forthright in a pre-trial questionnaire.

In May, Judge Clark W. Munger granted a request for new trial.

Beam was the sole suspect in the strangling death of Berrie, with whom he lived with and had a daughter.

Berrie also had a son from a previous relationship who lived with the couple in their Oro Valley apartment. The boy was eight years old and their daughter three years old at the time of Berrie's killing. Both children were home when Beam killed their mother.

On Aug. 12, 2008, Oro Valley police responded to the couple's apartment following a 9-1-1 call from Beam's father. When officers arrived, they found Beam at the scene and Berrie lying lifeless in the bathroom.

At trial, Beam admitted to killing Berrie after the two had argued. His attorney tried to convince the jury that Beam had not planned to kill Berrie. Edminson-O'Brien argued that Beam feared Berrie would take away their daughter and ended up killing her in a moment of rage.

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