FARMINGTON — A district judge adjusted a murder suspect's bond last Friday but the accused remained in jail Tuesday evening.

Jacob Beach, 20, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Sharolyn Keown, 18.

Police arrested Beach Nov. 6 at the Enchantment Hotel in Aztec and charged him with an open count of murder. Magistrate Judge Stanley King originally set his bond at $500,000 cash only.

During Beach's preliminary hearing in December, prosecutors amended charges from an open count of murder to murder in the second degree, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Cosme Ripol, Beach's attorney, said during a pretrial conference in front of District Judge Bill Birdsall that Beach's bond was "definitely too high for a second-degree murder charge." He added that Beach has a very good self-defense theory or manslaughter defense.

Assistant District Attorney Steven Johnston argued in court that Beach's bond should remain at a half-million dollars cash because Beach fled the scene of the crime and police have evidence Beach was trying to flee the area for Albuquerque or Phoenix after the shooting.

Birdsall did not lower Beach's bond but he adjusted it to $500,000 cash or surety, according to a court document filed Friday. That means Beach has to post $50,000 through a bail bondsman to be released pending trial.

San Juan County Adult Detention Center Administrator Tom Havel said Beach was in jail late Tuesday afternoon.


Should Beach be able to come up with $50,000, he will have to follow the standard conditions of release for defendants awaiting trial, Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said. That means no alcohol, no weapons, he must follow the law, stay in San Juan County, make all court appearances and not contact any witnesses.

"We could ask the court to consider additional conditions of release if we feel that's necessary," he said.

Beach's trial is set for early August.

Prosecutors have provided a witness list of 40 people, including investigators from the Farmington Police Department and the San Juan County Sheriff's Office, and several people who saw or heard the fatal shooting.

Police said Beach shot and killed Keown on Nov. 5 in a vacant lot near her apartment on Gila Street.

Keown confronted Beach about an alleged attempted sexual assault from two months earlier that she never reported to police. She asked Beach if he wanted to fight and slapped him and Beach allegedly shot her near her collar bone, according to court documents.

Joshua Tate, Keown's boyfriend, and Jason Chavez heard two gun shots and came running from their nearby trailer. They found Keown bleeding in a vacant dirt field and she collapsed. Tate carried her back to a concrete slab near their apartment and waited for police, according to court documents.

She was dead by the time paramedics arrived.