A Marion County Circuit Court judge on Thursday sentenced a Silverton man to 17 years in prison for killing a pedestrian in Keizer as he led police on a car chase that ended with a shootout in a northeast Salem parking lot in 2021.
The sentence comes nearly a month after Sean K. Beck, 49, pleaded guilty on June 26 to first-degree manslaughter, five counts of unlawful use of a weapon, three counts of possessing a firearm as a felon and driving under the influence of intoxicants, according to his plea petition.
Beck was fleeing police in a stolen Nissan Xterra on July 28, 2021, when he ran a red light and collided with Becky Dietzel, a 64-year-old Salem resident, on North River Road in Keizer, according to a news release from the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.
Judge Channing Bennett also sentenced Beck to 17 years of post-prison supervision, ordered him to pay over $23,000 in restitution to the victim’s family and revoked his driver’s license for life.
As part of Beck’s plea deal, prosecutors dismissed two counts of attempted aggravated murder, failure to perform duties of a driver to seriously injured persons, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, unauthorized use of a vehicle and three counts of first-degree theft, court records showed.
Statements issued on Friday by the district attorney’s office and at the time by the Oregon State Police gave the following account of the car chase and shootout.
VIDEO: WARNING – Graphic image: Police shooting in Keizer, chase to northeast Salem
A woman reported to Keizer police that morning that Beck had stolen her SUV as well as three guns – a Glock pistol, an AR-15 and a .338 Lapua Magnum rifle.
Another citizen later reported that the car was parked behind a business off River Road as Beck stood nearby with a pistol on his hip.
Police said at the time that officers contacted two men in the vehicle in the parking area of VCA Keizer Veterinary Hospital.
“Beck was given repeated orders to surrender but refused to comply and eventually opened fire in the general direction of the police, who then returned fire,” according to prosecutors’ statement. “Despite being shot several times, Beck then drove away from the scene and eluded police officers who were following him with lights and sirens.”
The second man, who was not identified, stayed at the scene and cooperated with officers, according to an earlier police statement.
As police pursued Beck down River Road, he ran a red light at a high rate of speed, stuck and ran over Dietzel, killing her.
Beck did not stop and continued fleeing until police rammed his car and forced it to stop at Home Depot on Northeast Cherry Avenue.
Following a roughly 20-minute standoff, police arrested Beck and took him to Salem Hospital to be treated for wounds.
A blood draw at the hospital showed his blood-alcohol level was 0.35, more than four times the legal limit of 0.08. Police also searched the car and retrieved the three stolen guns.
A Marion County grand jury at the time found that all five Keizer police officers were justified in using deadly force against Beck.
Prosecutors said he has a lengthy criminal history including convictions in four states as well as federal convictions for robbery of a banking institution and bank robbery.