May 20, 2015 8:57 PM by News Staff
Quentin Bealer says he's behind bars for a crime he didn't commit.
"When I have my chance to go to court, I will be 100 percent exonerated. I basically want it to be known that I was falsely accused" Bealer said in an exclusive jailhouse interview with Action News Now.
On the surface, the Tehama County District Attorney's case does not look good for Quentin Bealer. The self-admitted drug user says he saw and spoke with 14-year-old Marysa Nichols in the field next to Red Bluff High School February 26, 2013, the day she disappeared.
Bealer claims Marysa asked him for a cigarette and then asked him for a lighter moments later. Instead of a lighter, Bealer says he gave her the lit cigarette from his mouth so she could use it as a lighter. He also admits he was high on meth and heroin when this happened, but insists both of them walked away in different directions.
Marysa's body was found face down in the mud February 28, 2013. She had been strangled with her own yellow tank top, but authorities say she had not been sexually assaulted.
Bealer's DNA was detected on Marysa's tank top, and is no doubt key to the prosecution's case, but Bealer asserts the DNA came from the cigarettes he gave to Nichols. He says there would be much more DNA on the tank top if he was the killer.
"I am a minor contributor, not a major contributor. Not skin cells like you would leave if you strangled somebody."
From his side of a glass wall in the Tehama County Jail visitor's center, Bealer showed Action News Now several documents he says punches holes in the prosecution's case regarding the time of death, credibility of witnesses and even cases of possible coercion of witnesses by investigators. None of those claims and accusations could be verified by Action News Now.
Despite his claims, we asked Bealer if he possibly killed Marysa during a fit of drug-fueled rage. Perhaps he blacked out and simply doesn't clearly remember the events of that day? Bealer says no, "I couldn't have done that, there's no way, it didn't happen that way, I didn't black out."
Meanwhile, Ricky Nichols, Marysa's father told Action News Now his 14-year-old daughter didn't smoke, and even if she did, she would never walk up to a stranger for a cigarette. He told Action News Now over the phone "I'm not buying Bealer's story at all."
Nichols added that his life was shattered the day he learned of Marysa's death, "you never get over it."
As for whether or not Quentin Bealer committed this brutal murder, that will be for a Sacramento jury to decide, possibly as soon as this summer.
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