Barry Beach

Barry Beach answers reporters’ questions about being denied clemency in June 2014 at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge.

Matt Volz for The Montana Standard

GREAT FALLS (AP) – The Montana Board of Pardons and Parole has sent Gov. Steve Bullock a clemency request by a man convicted of killing a high school classmate in 1979.

The board forwarded Barry Beach's new request on Thursday after determining it was substantively similar to an application the board previously denied.

Beach attorney Peter Camiel says he is happy the board moved quickly and is looking forward to hearing from the governor.

A new law gives the governor the final decision in clemency requests instead of the parole board.

Beach was sentenced to 100 years in prison after being convicted of deliberate homicide in the beating death of 17-year-old Kim Nees in Poplar. He has steadfastly denied killing Nees, and his cause has been taken up by several current and former Montana politicians.

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