Murder trial against former soldier set for Dec. 11-13.

October 30, 2019

Corey Beekman and defense attorney Al Swanson, Jr.

Murder trial against former soldier set for Dec. 11-13.


By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

LUDINGTON — The murder trial against Corey Ryan Beekman, 33, of Free Soil Township is scheduled for Dec. 11-13 in Mason County’s 51st Circuit Court, according to Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola.

Beekman, a former Army National Guard staff sergeant, is accused of murdering William Buchanan, 32, of Mears, April 16, and wounding 32-year-old Kaitlin Buck with a gunshot to the arm. He faces charges of second-degree murder, felonious assault and two counts of felony firearms.

Spaniola, defense attorney Al Swanson Jr. and Judge Susan K. Sniegowski met Tuesday, Oct. 29, for a settlement conference in the judge’s chambers. The purpose of the meeting was to resolve procedural issues prior to setting the trial date, Spaniola said.

William Buchanan

Beekman was bound over to 51st Circuit Court following a preliminary examination in 79th District Court, June 19. Judge Peter J. Wadel ruled that there was adequate evidence to bind the case up to circuit court.

Beekman, of 10550 N. US 31, originally faced charges of open murder, assault with intent to commit murder and two counts of felony firearms in connection to the shooting that took place at his home. Following testimony at the preliminary exam, Beekman’s charges were reduced.

Spaniola said premeditation could not be proven, so the open murder charge was amended to second-degree murder. Judge Wadel amended the assault with intent to commit murder charge to felonious assault, citing a lack of evidence to prove the more serious charge.

There is a billboard on US 31 near Beekman’s home that displays a picture of him sitting next to a dog. Beekman is wearing a military Stetson hat displaying sergeant stripes. The sign reads “I was defending myself in my own home!”

Beekman had previously been to deployed to Afghanistan, according

to one of his military friends.

Buck and her two children, ages 7 and 10, were inside the home during the shooting. The children were not physically harmed.

Kaitlin Buck

Buck testified during the preliminary exam that she was in a dating relationship with Buchanan and was Beekman’s roommate. However, Beekman wanted to be in a romantic relationship with her.

Co-counsel for the defense, Naesha Leys, questioned Buck about her relationship with Beekman. “You never had an intimate relationship with Corey?” Leys asked.

“No, I made it very clear with him several different times, which he could not grasp,” Buck said.

“He would never let it go,” she said.

Mason County Sheriff’s Office Det. Steven Hansen testified that he attended Buchanan’s autopsy, and three entrance and three exit wounds were identified. Two were “superficial” wounds, but one was fatal. The fatal wound went through his right arm and arm pit and through his lungs and heart.

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

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