Free Soil man charged with murder

April 19, 2019 GMT

Corey Ryan Beekman, 32, of Free Soil, was arraigned on four charges, including one of homicide — open murder, in front of Magistrate Paddy Baker in 79th District Court Wednesday evening at the Mason County Courthouse in Ludington.

Beekman faces a felony count of homicide — open murder, a count of assault with intent to commit murder, and two counts count of felony firearms.

The homicide count carries a sentence of life in prison. The assault with intent to commit murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison or any number of years. Each of the felony firearm counts carries a charge of two years maximum, and to precede other felony convictions.

Baker set the bond at $750,000 cash or surety.

Beekman was arraigned via video conference from the courtroom to the Mason County Jail, and he replied to Baker that he understood the charges based on the allegations against him. Al Swanson was Beekman’s attorney at the arraignment, and he appeared with Beekman before Baker.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for 3 p.m., Wednesday, May 1, for a probable cause conference in front of 79th District Court Judge Peter J. Wadel. A preliminary exam was also set for 11:15 a.m., Wednesday, May 8.

The charges come from Tuesday’s shooting at a residence on the 10000 block of North U.S. 31 just inside Free Soil Township, and according to Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, the residence belonged to Beekman. Beekman is alleged to have shot with a pistol 32-year-old William Craig Buchanan of Mears and 32-year-old Katlyn Buck at the residence. Buchanan died as a result of his injury, and Buck was transported to Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital following the morning incident. There were also two children at the residence at the time of the incident, but were physically unharmed.

Cole said he did not know Buck’s place of residence other than she lived in the county.

In regards to a relationship between the three adults, Cole said investigators are still trying to determine it.

“We honestly don’t know the relationship between the three,” he said. “We know that Mr. Beekman resided at that residence.”

Cole said after the arraignment that Buck was treated at the hospital and released. Cole said Buck may receive additional support in the future.

“The Manistee County Victim Services Unit that is similar to ours. Because they were all transported to Manistee, (the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office’s services) were requested. I know they did respond to the hospital and provide support,” Cole said. “I would suspect there will be follow-up, whether that is through VSU or the courts or through (Community) Mental Health. Often times that is through the prosecutor’s office.”

Cole praised the work of responding officers again Wednesday evening, and said once Buck and the two children were secured by law enforcement, it helped with negotiations.

“Once we were able to get the woman and the children out of the house, we were able to slow things down,” Cole said. “We were able to take anxiety off of the individual not able to force (things). … It was just through patience and talking, and we were preparing for additional SWAT members.”

Cole, though, couldn’t praise those responding enough.

“I was very proud of the responding officers under a great amount of pressure. … They were remarkable. It was clear that the training all of those officers put into practice and near perfection,” he said.