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Bealer Speaks Out in Court Against Murder Charge; Still Without Attorney

By Chelsea KAY, @ChelseaKayTv
Published On: Mar 12 2013 01:02:36 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 12 2013 07:22:33 PM CDT

Quentin Bealer is accused of killing Marysa Nichols, 14, near Red Bluff High School in late February after police said surveillance video linked him to the crime.  http://bit.ly/1k5C2Ql

RED BLUFF, Calif. -

Quentin Bealer, the man accused of murdering 14-year-old Marysa Nichols, was back in court Tuesday morning.

He was supposed to enter a plea, but his public defender gave up the case, saying there was a conflict with the discovery.

The judge appointed a few other attorneys, who also declined to take the case for the same reason. One specifically mentioned an issue with a witness in the discovery.

As a result, the judge delayed Bealer's arraignment until one o'clock Tuesday afternoon, hoping other public defenders would pick up the case, but they turned it down as well.

The judge asked Bealer if he understood what was going on. Bealer responded, "Not really. I'm still trying to figure out why I'm even charged with murder when there's just a photo of me walking with a kid behind me."

The judge will now reach out to outside attorneys. He specifically mentioned Shon Northam, a former Deputy District Attorney for Tehama County, who                    
now works at a private firm in Sacramento.

District Attorney Gregg Cohen told us Northam still handles various CPS cases in the North State.

We also asked Cohen for his response to Bealer's denial of having anything to do with Marysa's murder. "He's been charged with the crime. We're going to go forward with the case. It's up to him and his lawyer to try and dispel the confusion," he said.

If Northam does not take on the case, Cohen said the court will have to keep reaching out to private attorneys until they find one willing.

Bealer will be back in court Wednesday morning where they will try and figure out who will represent him.

Nichols' body was found near a creek behind Red Bluff High School on Feb. 28.

Bealer was arrested Mar. 2, after he turned himself in for questioning.

He is held without bail at the Tehama County Jail.