A Wilson County man who fled the state in 2011 and was recently found in and extradited from North Carolina appeared in court Tuesday morning.
Stephen Eugene Beck, 43, was previously indicted in August 2010 by a Wilson County grand jury on nine counts of rape of a child, 16 counts of rape and 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor before he fled the state prior to facing trial. He was also indicted the same month in Rutherford County on three counts of rape of a child.
Beck was previously released on $1.15 million bond in both Wilson and Rutherford counties and was set to report to court in Wilson County on July 25, 2011 to set a trial date, but failed to appear. He was then placed on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s most wanted fugitive list.
Beck appeared Tuesday morning in Wilson County criminal court before Judge David Durham.
“As you’re well aware, we’ve been looking for you for quite while,” Durham said.
Durham said a jury trial was already set for Beck in 2011, “then [Beck] disappeared on us.”
Now, Durham said Beck’s trial needed to be rescheduled and placed back on the trial calendar, but unfortunately he would have to go to the end of the line, as not to skip those who were serving their time or in jail waiting.
“We’ve already heard all of the motions and had everything teed up to go before, and then Mr. Beck decided he didn’t want to accommodate us,” Durham said.
Durham set Beck with a four-day trial date, slated for March 10-13.
In May, U.S. Marshals found Beck in Wilmington, N.C.
According to Deputy U.S. Marshal Russ Fields, Beck was hiding there with a friend since June 2013 and was using an alias. Fields said Eastern North Carolina Violent Fugitive Task Force agents, made up of U.S. Marshals, North Carolina state probation officers and officers from the Wilmington Police Department arrested Beck.
TBI special agents, U.S. Marshal Service personnel, Wilson County deputies and Rutherford County deputies searched for more than two and a half years for Beck in an investigation that involved hundreds of tips and more than 1,000 leads across 17 states. In February, TBI agents developed information Beck was living in the Johnson City area and actively avoiding capture.
Beck was booked in at the New Hanover County, N.C. Jail and remained there until his extradition to Middle Tennessee on Thursday. Wilson County and Rutherford County sheriff’s deputies split the cost and aided in the extradition.
Beck is currently in the Rutherford County Jail.