Sacto 911

Covering crime, police and courts in the Sacramento region

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

07/22/2014 8:40 PM

07/22/2014 8:41 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.

Sacto 911 Staff

Bill Lindelof

Cathy Locke

Andy Furillo
Superior Court

Denny Walsh
Federal Court

More Sacto 911


Send news tips

Sign up for breaking news alerts

Arrest Logs

Crime Q&A

Sacramento Bee reporter Cathy Locke answers your questions about crime news, trends and issues. Look up specific cases using Arrest Logs and Sacramento Superior Courts case database.

Submit your question


Join the Discussion

The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service