Military friend of murder suspect ‘shocked’ by allegations.

April 18, 2019


Military friend of murder suspect ‘shocked’ by allegations.


By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

LUDINGTON — A man who served in the National Guard with now murder suspect Corey Ryan Beekman in Afghanistan during 2011 and 2012 said he finds the allegations “quite shocking.”

Beekman, 32, of Free Soil Township, has been charged with open murder in the shooting death of William Buchanan, 32, of Mears. The shooting occurred Tuesday morning, April 16, inside Beekman’s home on US 31.

A 32-year-old woman, who has not been identified by law enforcement, was also shot but survived. Two children inside the home at the time of shootings were not physically harmed.

Beekman was barricaded in a room but surrendered peacefully to police.

“He was never a violent person,” said the man who agreed to the interview on a condition of anonymity. “He helped me through a really tough spot. I had just got in the military, and then I was deployed. He kind of took me under his wing.”

Beekman, who was a graduate of Mason County Central High School, worked his way up the ranks to staff sergeant fairly quickly, he said. “He got staff sergeant in seven or eight years” – a process that normally takes 10 years.

“I’m pretty sure he joined right out of high school. He completed his enlistment and then enlisted another six years. He was in Iraq before he was in Afghanistan. He did more than one tour overseas. I left the unit he was in about five years ago.”

Although Beekman showed no violent tendencies, the military friend and others did observe a personality flaw. “He was known for telling tall tales.” The soldiers made up a phrase for when he stretched the truth – “He’s beeking me again.”

The yarn spinning did not deter their friendship however, and his military buddy came to visit him at his Mason County house once.

William Buchanan

“Apart from him telling tall tales, he was a model soldier and got promoted pretty quickly. He never had any violent tendencies. He was always a good guy.”

The friend says the news of his murder charges is “quite shocking.” Beekman’s charges include homicide — open murder, assault with intent to murder, and two counts of weapons — felony firearm.

When asked if he thought Beekman suffered from post traumatic stress disorder due to his military experience, he answered, “It wouldn’t surprise me. He saw some unsavory things.”

“He was at least in his right mind part of the way, because he let the woman and the children leave the house. I’m just waiting to hear the whole story.”

Beekman remains lodged in the Mason County Jail on a $750,000 cash/surety bond.

This story is copyrighted © 2019, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent. 

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