An Albany County judge has ruled that prosecutors have enough evidence to bring a 61-year-old Laramie man to trial in District Court for a murder committed 42 years ago.

Lance David Bean was arrested last week for first-degree murder in connection to the death of 20-year-old Sharon Reher.  Bean’s preliminary hearing was held in front of Circuit Judge Robert Castor on Tuesday, August 26. During the hearing, Detective Joel Senior testified that Bean’s DNA from skin cells was found on Reher’s clothing including her pants, bra, and panties.  He said that bodily fluids recovered from Reher’s body were not tested because they were either not collected or not preserved.

Defense lawyer Vaughn Neubauer urged Judge Castor to drop the case, saying there was no evidence that Bean sexually assaulted or killed Reher. He questioned Detective Senior about the process used to collect DNA evidence in 1972 and said that the DNA evidence does not mean that Bean was involved in any wrong doing. He added that the term “consistent with” used in DNA testing does not mean that it is Bean’s DNA.

According to court documents, Reher’s body was found on April 17, 1972 in her bedroom. It appeared she had been sexually assaulted and strangled before her throat was slashed. The coroner ruled that she likely died in the early morning hours of April 16, 1972. Those close to Reher told officers that she had hosted a party in her home the night of April 15, and the party went until about 2 a.m. on April 16. After the party, they said several people went to an after-hours bar. Reher got a ride home from the bar from her boyfriend’s brother around 4:20 a.m. Her brother found her dead in her residence the next morning.

Court documents show that Bean was interviewed a few days after the body was found. He admitted to knowing Reher and attending the party. He acknowledged that he then went to the bar with a group of people who had also attended. He denied having sexual contact with her and said he did not see her after they left the bar.

Upon hearing the case, Judge Castor ruled that there was enough evidence to bring it to trial and bound the case over to Albany County District Court. He set Bean’s bond at $750,000 cash or corporate bond.