Charges Reduced in “Murder by Snake” Case

by Lou on October 8, 2007

Remember the murder by snake case that I reported about back on August 20? Herbert Paul Beck, 56, and Christopher Lee Steelman, 34, were charged with conspiracy to commit murder after the two Colorado men allegedly tried to kill Matthew Sowash, owner of Amateur Poker Tour, to collect a debt by using rattlesnakes as weapons.

According to the Jefferson County sheriff’s office, Sowash owed Beck and Steelman $60,000. Sowash, whose company runs poker games in Denver area bars, was to have his legs placed into a specially constructed wooden box that held the snakes. The box was built so his legs could be inserted but not removed.
Now some of the charges against Steelman and Beck were dropped, including conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping. Charges of felony extortion are still in place, but bail was lowered from $500,000 to $10,000.

Why did they drop these charges without a plea bargain as a trade off? Who knows? While SWAT teams in Texas are busily busting poker players, Colorado officials are dropping charges against a snaky pair—pun intended—like Steelman and Beck.
I guess I’m looking for logic in all the wrong places. All I’m finding is a box full of snakes.

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