Governor Steve Bullock has granted convicted killer Barry Beach clemency.

NBC Montana reports Beach walked free from the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge Friday morning.

Gov. Steve Bullock on Friday signed a clemency order allowing for the release of 53-year-old Barry Beach. His release is effective at noon.

Beach was convicted of deliberate homicide and sentenced to 100 years in prison for the 1979 beating death of 17-year-old Kimberly Nees on northeastern Montana's Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

Bullock noted Beach was a 17-year-old juvenile at the time and had exhibited good behavior in prison.

Beach claimed his subsequent confession to Louisiana authorities was coerced. His cause was taken up by hundreds of supporters including Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester and former Republican U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns.

He’s tried several times in the years since then to get out of prison.

But the State Board of Pardons and Parole consistently rejected his requests for clemency.

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