The U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of Texas said Wednesday that a man from North Texas was sentenced to 43 years in federal prison on charges that he shot and stabbed his girlfriend during a custody fight.
Andrew Charles Beard, who was 36 at the time, pleaded guilty in June to cyberstalking with a dangerous weapon that led to death and firing a gun during a violent crime. Alyssa Burkett, his 24-year-old partner, was shot in the head and stabbed 13 times as she arrived at the Carrollton apartment complex she managed on October 2, 2020.
In a written statement, U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton said, “This case is a sobering reminder of the brutal violence that some women have to go through at the hands of their intimate partners.” “The person who was hurt in this case fought hard until the end. We hope that her family can find some peace with her punishment today.”
Beard’s lawyer, Greg Gray, said he wouldn’t say anything about the sentence, but “Andrew was finally able to express his regret to both his family and Alyssa’s family in open court.”
The attorney’s office says that Beard said in his plea papers that he was trying to get control of their 1-year-old daughter at the time.
He said that he put a GPS tracker on Burkett’s car, wore a mask, and bought a black SUV to use during the attack. The attorney’s office said that he followed her to the complex in Carrollton and shot her in the head with a shotgun while she was sitting in her car.
Burkett was shot, and when she tried to get help, Beard came up behind her and stabbed her 13 times in the upper body. Prosecutors say she died as Beard ran away.
In an affidavit for an arrest warrant for a murder charge in 2020, cops seemed to imply that Beard, who is white, may have dressed up as a Black man during the attack. Some witnesses said that the suspect was a Black man, and a dark liquid foundation and a fake beard that looked like it had makeup on it were found in cars that police think belong to him.
The attorney’s office said Wednesday that Burkett’s boyfriend at the time said Beard seemed “overly obsessed” with Burkett. Other people who knew Burkett said she was afraid of Beard and thought he was following her.
Beard was driving away from his home about three hours after the attack. Police stopped him and found three phones. One of them had a search for “what is the best way to remove gunpowder residue from hands” on it, according to the attorney’s office.
The day after the murder, detectives found the SUV Beard used in the attack abandoned near his home. The blood in the car matched Burkett’s, and a fake beard found inside had Beard’s DNA on it, the attorney’s office said.
Searches also turned up a pair of men’s climbing boots that had been cut up and were soaking in bleach, as well as a battery that matched the tracker on Burkett’s car.
The attorney’s office said that about a month before the attack, Beard put guns and drugs in Burkett’s car and gave a fake tip to the police. Prosecutors said that Beard admitted in his plea papers that he called the police using the name “Frank Marrow” and told them to check the car and spare tire for drugs.
Police found illegal drugs and a gun in the car. Burkett denied selling drugs and told police she thought Beard had put them there.
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Beard turned himself into the police three days after the killing, after Carrollton police got a warrant for his arrest in Burkett’s death.
A few days after his arrest, he paid a $1 million bond, but later that month, he was taken back into prison on a federal charge and told to stay in jail. Beard is still charged with murder in Texas because of the death.
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