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Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man accused of killing Sacramento teacher in early ’90s?

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 22, 2014 - 8:40 pm

Whatever happened to the man who killed Sacramento school teacher Greg Beach at his vacation home in Volcano in the early 1990s?

– Wondering, Sacramento

Gregory Beach, 40, a popular fifth-grade teacher at O.W. Erlewine School, was found dead Jan. 3, 1992, at his vacation home in Volcano. Authorities said he had been beaten to death with a sledgehammer.

Harley Davidson Messenger, a 19-year-old former C.K. McClatchy High School student, who had lived with Beach for three months is 1991, was arrested and subsequently pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Beach’s death.

According to stories in The Sacramento Bee, Messenger later sought to withdraw the plea. Despite arguments that Messenger was a suicidal, impulsive, emotionally disturbed victim of child abuse, an Amador Superior Court judge ruled that there was no legal reason to reinstate his not-guilty plea and grant him a trial.

Messenger was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Read more articles by Cathy Locke

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