Parole Denied for Man Who Lit Partner on Fire
Gregory Patrick Beck, now 55 years of age, appeared at a parole board hearing last Tuesday at Corcoran State Prison for his fifth attempt to gain release from prison since his horrific 2001 attack on then-32-year-old Sherry Carlton.
On behalf of the DA, Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Norman attended what turned out to be a six-hour parole hearing, accompanied and supported by the victim’s father, mother, and co usin. Supporting DDA Norman’s forceful arguments opposing Beck’s release, the family presented the commissioners over 52,000 online signatures, along with hard-copy petitions signed by over 150 individuals, all opposed to Beck’s parole.
After deliberating on their decision, the parole board denied Beck’s renewed application for another five years. Beck was told that his current denial was based on his continuing evasiveness, his minimization of what he did, and his “need to come to terms with the truth.”
A Mendocino County jury decided Beck’s guilt at trial in April 2002. After hearing the evidence that Beck poured lighter fluid on Ms. Carlton and lit her fire (because she was trying to leave him), the jury convicted Beck of torture, assault with caustic chemicals, and domestic infliction of a traumatic injury.
During that trial, prosecutor Rick Martin presented the part of his evidence the chilling 9-1-1 call for help made by Ms. Carlton. In an anguished voice, Sherry is heard telling the dispatcher “I’m burned … I’m burned … I’ve sprayed lighter fluid all over me.” Sherry tells the dispatcher, “His name is Greg Beck, you gotta eat arrest him … he tried to murder me.” She repeats that Beck tried to murder her near the end of the tape before her voice becomes mostly inaudible as she gasps in pain. “Oh god it hurts so … oh my god, I’m sorry, I hurt so bad.” The last voice on the tape is that of the dispatcher trying to keep Sherry talking. “Hello? Hello? Hello?” the dispatcher kept saying, but received no further response.
District Attorney Eyster applauded the decision of the parole board, as well as the good fight fought by DDA Norman and the family. “While Sherry passed away in 2016 after 15 hard years of bed-ridden care in a convalescent home,” Eyster said, “Beck has not seen the last of us. that time comes to keep this monster right where he belongs. “