State v. BeachAnnotate this Case
After a jury trial in 1984, Defendant was convicted of deliberate homicide and sentenced to 100 years imprisonment without the possibility of parole. In 2008, Defendant filed a second petition for postconviction relief, alleging that newly discovered evidence proved his actual innocence. The district court held a three-day hearing and took testimony from witnesses that suggested a group of teenage girls had killed the victim. The district court subsequently concluded that Defendant had presented sufficient evidence of his "actual innocence" to warrant a new trial. The Supreme Court reversed and dismissed Defendant's petition for postconviction relief, holding that the district court erred by concluding that Defendant was entitled to a new trial, as, applying the proper standard of review to the new evidence offered by Defendant, Defendant failed to sustain his burden of demonstrating either a freestanding claim or a gateway claim of "actual innocence."