Jury Finds Lance Bean Guilty Of Attempted Rape, Not Murder
A jury ruled that enough evidence exists to prove Lance David Bean guilty of Attempted Rape, but not First Degree Murder.
Bean, 61 of Laramie, was on trial this week for the murder and possible sexual assault of 20-year-old Sharon Reher in 1972. Bean was arrested in August of 2014 after his DNA was found on some articles of Reher’s clothing, including on the right belt area of her pants, her underwear, and her bra.
Defense Attorney Vaughn Neubauer argued that the DNA evidence could have been cross-contaminated because detectives did not know about DNA in 1972. He also said the DNA could have been transferred to Reher’s clothing before the crime because Bean was at a party at her residence shortly before the crime occurred.
Albany County Prosecuting Attorney Peggy Trent argued that the DNA was collected from areas that would not have been cross-contaminated. She said DNA was found on the inside of Reher’s pants and on her undergarments, areas the attacker likely would have touched.
The case was released to the jury for deliberation shortly before 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. The jury deliberated until around 10:30 p.m. and continued their deliberations around 9 a.m. today. The court was notified the jury reached a decision shortly after 4 p.m. today.
The jury ruled that Bean was guilty of the attempted rape of Sharon Reher in 1972. Bean was found not guilty of charges of rape, murder with premeditated malice, and murder in the first degree during the attempted commission of a rape.
Trent asked Albany County District Court Judge Jeffrey Donnell to continue Bean’s bond at a $750,000 cash or commercial bond, saying the conviction would make him a flight risk.
Defense Attorney Vaughn Neubauer argued that Bean was not a flight risk as he has lived in the community his entire life and owns property here. Neubauer requested Judge Donnell to reduce the bond to something more manageable for Bean’s family, saying it was set at that amount because of the murder charge.
Neubauer and Bean told Judge Donnell that Bean has been in custody at the Albany County Detention Center for about five and a half months.
Judge Donnell ruled that Bean’s bond would be reduced.
“The charge here is attempted rape, and while that is no small thing, it is far different from murder,” Donnell stated.
Bean’s bond was set at $10,000 cash, and he was bonded out soon after the hearing.
Bean will be sentenced at a later date. The sentence will be based off of the possible punishments for Attempted Rape when the crime was committed in 1972.