Family of slain teen upset over killer’s early release
SALT LAKE CITY — Seven years after a Utah teen was stabbed to death in Stansbury Park, his killer is a free man.
Larry Beach, 27, walked out of the Utah State Prison Tuesday after serving nearly six years, a far cry from his 35-year sentence.
In March of 2015, the then 21-year-old was sentenced to up to 35-years in prison on manslaughter and obstruction of justice charges in the death of 17-year-old Jesse Horowitz.
Horowitz and his friends had gone to a park to watch a fight when witnesses say Beach started harassing Horowitz, using racial slurs. A fight between the two broke out, and at some point during the altercation, Beach pulled a knife and stabbed Horowitz up to nine times. Horowitz died at the scene.
It’s been a brutal seven years for the 17-year-old’s parents, who moved out of Utah after the trial was over.
“It has just crushed us,” Matt Horowitz said while wearing a t-shirt with his son’s picture on it.
Jesse was about to graduate from Stansbury High School, with plans to attend Dixie State College, when his life was cut short.
Horowitz said the trial was tough, but he felt comfort knowing the man who brutally killed his son would spend a long time behind bars.
“Going back to court, and what we walked out of there thinking, that he was going to serve at least 15 years because he had to do concurrent sentences,” he said.
One thing Horowitz knew for sure was he would not miss his chance to face Beach and a parole board at a potential future hearing.
“I said, I don’t care how old I am. If I’m in a wheelchair, I’m going to show up and let everybody know what you did to my son.”
But now, that won’t happen.
In November, Matt Horowitz’s wife, Darcy, got a recorded phone call from VINE, an automated victim notification and information system.
“Larry Beach has been granted parole,” the robocall told them.
“I’m like, what?” Matt told KSL-TV.
Horowitz thought it had to be a mistake. He said they were in the system and that the parole board had their contact information.
So, why didn’t they know?
KSL-TV reached out to Pardon and Parole, who told us in a statement:
“… the Board sent notification letters to two addresses available for Jesse’s family prior to the hearing. One of which was returned. On this basis, the Board reasonably presumed that the family had received notification through the other letter that was not returned.”
After Jesse’s death, the Horowitzes moved out of the state.
Since Matt would get notifications through the automated service, he figured the board had his phone number, which has not changed.
Turns out that notification system called VINE isn’t connected to the board. They don’t share information and they say there is no phone number on record for the Horowitz family.
Matt is furious.
“I am angry at the system,” Horowitz said as he appeared to hold back tears.
He feels cheated, and the mix-up brings all those initial feelings of grief and anger to the surface, all over again.
“You’ve gotta change the system,” he said. “We should have been notified and been able to go.”
The Utah Parole Board continued their statement, saying: “…missing any notification is not an outcome the Board wants, and we are committed to working with others to find solutions to reduce this kind of outcome from occurring.”
Meanwhile, the Horowitzes feel re-victimized.
“My son’s life was worth more than this. Jesse’s life was worth more,” Matt said.
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