GRANTSVILLE - A plea agreement will keep a Calhoun County man charged with murder behind bars for the next few years.
Last week prosecutors reached a plea agreement with William Seth Denmark, 24, charged with the murder of David Beach.
Denmark pleaded no contest to charges of second-degree murder in Calhoun Circuit Court last week.
Calhoun County Prosecutor Shannon Johnson said Circuit Court Judge David W. Nibert accepted the plea last week. Nibert had rejected an earlier plea request last fall when Denmark agreed to an Alford-type plea under which he would serve a flat 10 years in prison.
The current plea agreement calls for a binding 25 years in prison, although Denmark could be eligible for parole after most of his sentence is served, Johnson said. Denmark has been in jail since March 2009.
"I think it is a very fair plea agreement for the state. I am pleased," Johnson said.
The case has been through four prosecutors, including special prosecutor Josh Downey, who has been assisting Johnson with the case.
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.
Denmark has been scheduled for sentencing May 13.