Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fugitive rapist Stephen Beck sentenced

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Stephen E. Beck

will serve 36 years in prison --
Stephen E. Beck has been sentenced to 36 years in prison to be served day-for-day following a plea agreement July 1 entered in Circuit Court Wednesday for two counts of child rape.

Beck, 44, who was scheduled to go to court on August 5, faced multiple counts involving allegations of child rape, sexual exploitation of a minor and numerous other sex charges in both Wilson and Rutherford counties.

Circuit Court Judge John Wootten accepted Beck's plea in exchange for a sentence of 36 years to be served day-for-day at the department of corrections, lifetime community supervision and listing on the sex offender registry for life.

Beck jumped bail several years ago and was finally captured in Wilmington, N.C. where he was living under a stolen identity.

"We are very proud of the law enforcement who worked on this intensive joint investigation from investigation to apprehension," Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan said. "This was an excellent job of law enforcement coordination between our officers at the Wilson County Sheriff's Office and that of the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, TBI (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation) and U.S. Marshall's Office."

Assistant District Attorney Tom Swink presented the facts of the case in Wednesday's hearing.

Beck, who was represented by Jack and J.D. Lowery, testified he understood if he were to file for post-conviction relief following the plea agreement or try to revoke his plea agreement, he would face trial by jury.

Beck opted to waive his trial before a jury. He will enter the plea agreement in Rutherford County as well.

"We in our office appreciate the tireless efforts of law enforcement in tracking down this defendant so that he could be brought to justice here today," Swink said. "We are also extremely grateful and appreciative of the two victims in this case and their family members, who have exercised both courage and patience through this long process. I believe that they feel a sense of justice with today's outcome."

Beck was indicted in August 2010 by grand juries in Wilson and Rutherford counties for the sex charges before he fled the state.

Earlier this year, the court postponed his court date for a mental evaluation. Swink noted that an evaluation before the Middle Tennessee Department of Mental Health determined Beck was competent to stand trial.

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