MARTINEZ -- The last defendant charged in the torture-murder of an 18-year-old Martinez man was sentenced this week, closing the case that shocked the community from the moment the youth's badly beaten body was found dumped on the side of a rural road four days before Christmas 2009.
It took weeks for investigators to determine that Eric Bean died after being bound and tortured for hours in the bedroom of a Benicia house by a group of people on a methamphetamine bender, including a childhood friend of Bean's with whom the teen had only recently reconnected.
The Benicia residents killed Bean on Dec. 20, 2009, to silence him; he wanted to confess to breaking into his father's gun safe with his would-be killers a few days earlier. There was testimony during various court proceedings that Bean's friend-turned-killer, Timothy Delosreyes III, put a knife in Bean's mouth and stepped on his head, and that the killers took a break from the torture to eat sandwiches.
Soon after the group was arrested, authorities flipped Melody Rives, who was present throughout the torture of Bean but reportedly did not participate in the murder outside of helping clean the bloody mess after Bean died of blunt force head trauma and strangulation.
Rives, 32, testified against her husband Raymond Gardner, Bean's friend Delosreyes III and his father, Timothy Delosreyes Jr., in exchange for a plea deal. She pleaded no contest Monday to felony "accessory after the
Timothy Delosreyes Jr., 38, testified for the prosecution at his son's September trial in exchange for his own deal. He pleaded no contest last week to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 16 years in state prison.
A Contra Costa jury deliberated for just three hours before finding Delosreyes III, 21, guilty of first-degree murder, torture, residential burglary and grand theft of firearms. He was sentenced Oct. 19 to 27 years in state prison.
Gardner, 35, was convicted by jury of the same charges in March and sentenced to 29 years to life in prison.
Bean's father, Jim Bean, and other friends and relatives attended all of the trials and hearings. Hundreds of people from Martinez and beyond attended the memorial service for Eric Bean, described as a kindhearted kid who often fed the local homeless people. Jim Bean could not be reached for comment Friday.
"My heart goes out to the Bean family, but I'm glad that they got a measure of justice for all of their suffering," said deputy district attorney Jason Peck, who prosecuted all of Bean's killers, in an email. "No amount of jail time could ever be enough for the suffering the defendants inflicted on Eric Bean and his entire family."
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.