Denmark sentenced to 25 years in prison

GRANTSVILLE – Seven years to the day after David Beach went missing and was believe to have been killed, the man prosecutors hold responsible was sentenced on a second-degree murder charge.

William Seth Denmark, 24, was sentenced to 25 years in prison by Calhoun County Circuit Court Judge David W. Nibert, pursuant to a plea agreement.

Monday’s sentencing ended a seven-year saga for the case, which has been through four prosecutors.

“It’s done and over with,” said Prosecutor Shannon Johnson.

Johnson said Denmark, who has been in jail since March 2009, will get credit for time served.

Last fall, Nibert rejected an Alford-type plea under which Denmark would serve a flat 10-year sentence. With this sentence, Johnson said Denmark will be eligible for parole, although she was unsure when.

Johnson said Beach’s mother, Barbara Ann Hicks, did not appear at Denmark’s sentencing.

“She filled out a statement indicating she did not wish to be present at sentencing,” Johnson said.

In 2011, Denmark was charged with the murder of Beach.

The 17-year-old Roane County teen was last seen in Spencer in May 2006 after he was allegedly picked up by Denmark.

According to criminal records in the case, an eyewitness told police Denmark threatened her at gunpoint and made proof of his threats by shooting Beach in the head. The complaint states the witness saw Beach lying in a hole and was forced to hold a flashlight while Denmark covered the body.

In February 2010, officials, including the Wood County coroner, converged on the Denmark property, near Orma, to conduct a search, but failed to locate a body.

Johnson said according to the terms of the plea agreement, Denmark will not be charged with anything else related to the crime.

“But there has not been any discussion about where the body is,” she said.