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Father of murdered Red Bluff teen speaks out
Ricky Nichols, the father of 14-year-old murder victim Marysa Nichols, stood outside the courtroom Tuesday following a hearing for Quentin Ray Bealer, the man accused of killing his daughter.
"I have hatred for the man," he said.
Nichols had just attended Bealer's hearing in Tehama County Superior Court at which Judge John Garaventa granted Bealer's court appointed attorney, Shon Northam, a continuance on the entry of plea to April 3.
"If he (Bealer) had known her and the beautiful person she was, he wouldn't, couldn't have done this," Nichols said. "He showed no mercy to my daughter. I hope the district attorney and the court shows no mercy for him."
Bealer has not been convicted on any crime, and has stated in past court appearances he does not understand why he is being accused of murder.
Nichols, 52, of Tulare, said he still hasn't been able to fully grasp what happened. "As we go through all of this court process, I hope people won't forget Marysa and the person she was. I don't want her to just be known as the victim," Nichols said.
"I want my daughter's voice to be heard, and it will through me," he said.
Marysa Nichols' body was found in a creek near Red Bluff High School on Feb. 28.
A surveillance video of the teen walking in the direction of the creek, her typical path home from Red Bluff High School's Education Outreach Academy, also shows a white male in that vicinity at the same time. That man was identified as 39-year-old Bealer, according to the Red Bluff Police Department.
Northam, a former Tehama County deputy district attorney, said he accepted the case realizing he has a lot of work before him.
"I've only been provided with a minimal amount of information so far," he said. "But I have already formed some theories and opinions on the case."
He said his client is under a lot of "anxiety and stress."
"He doesn't understand why he is being charged with murder. It really doesn't make sense that he would go into the Red Bluff Police Station to let them know he is the guy in their video if he was guilty of killing the girl," said the attorney.
Nichols was reported missing at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 26 by her mother, Diane Whitmire, after the teen did not return home from school. Her body was found two days later.
According to the victim's father, Whitmire called him the day she went missing to ask if he had come to town and picked her up from school. "I will get justice for my daughter," he said.
The preliminary cause of death has been determined to be strangulation, according to the Red Bluff Police Department.
Tehama County District Attorney Gregg Cohen said he filed the murder charge against Bealer as an open count so his office could proceed on a first-degree theory.
"We are still waiting on the results of forensic evidence from the state Department of Justice before we further refine exactly how to handle this case," the district attorney said.
The murder charge has a possible prison sentence of 25 years to life.
Bealer is also charged with second-degree commercial burglary, receiving stolen property, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Those charges stem from an arrest that took place in December.
An additional count of being under the influence of a controlled substance was added to the list of charges. That count derived from the defendant's arrest on March 2 at the Red Bluff Police Department.
It was while Bealer was in custody on this last charge that he was arrested on suspicion of Nichols' murder.