Texas man sentenced for stalking, killing ex in an attempt to gain custody of their daughter
05/26/2023 2:22 pm PDT
ROWLETT, Texas (TCD) -- A 36-year-old man will spend over four decades in federal prison for killing his ex-girlfriend in an attempt to gain custody of their young daughter.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas announced Wednesday, May 24, that U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle sentenced Andrew Beard to 43 years in prison after he pleaded guilty in June 2022 to cyberstalking using a dangerous weapon resulting in death and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
On Oct. 2, 2020, Beard placed a GPS tracking device on 24-year-old Alyssa Burkett’s vehicle and followed her in a newly purchased black SUV to an apartment complex where she worked.
According to the Attorney’s Office, Beard, wearing a disguise, approached Burkett’s car and shot her in the head while she was sitting behind the wheel. Beard, believing she was dead, drove away.
Burkett, severely injured and bloodied, went to a nearby building and tried calling for help. Beard, however, realized she was still alive, so he went back and stabbed her 13 times with a sharp object. Burkett succumbed to her injuries in the parking lot, and Beard drove away a second time.
In an interview, Burkett’s mother and co-workers reportedly told responding police officers that Burkett "believed he was tracking her," and she was worried Beard "would kill her." Burkett’s boyfriend told authorities Beard seemed "overly obsessed" with Burkett and their child, the Attorney’s Office said.
Officers located and stopped Beard around three hours later as he drove away from his home in a white truck. Investigators seized three phones, including a prepaid burner phone. According to the Attorney’s Office, officials noticed an online search for "what is the best way to remove gunpowder residue from hands" on one of the confiscated phones.
Inside his car, officers found hiking boots that had been cut into pieces and soaked in bleach. They also reportedly located a battery that matched the GPS tracker on Burkett’s car, as well as a "written script Mr. Beard had used to phone in a false drug tip against Ms. Burkett a month earlier."
According to the Attorney’s Office, as part of his guilty plea, Beard said he called in a false tip on Sept. 2, 2020, and had placed drugs and a gun in Burkett’s car. Beard reportedly called himself "Frank Marrow" and said Burkett was "selling drugs out of the trunk of her car and advised police to check the spare tire well."
When officers searched Burkett’s tire well, they reportedly recovered illegal drugs and a gun. Burkett denied the allegations and told officials she believed Beard had placed the drugs and gun there.
According to the Attorney’s Office, investigators located Beard’s black SUV abandoned in a neighborhood near his home the day after Burkett’s death. They recovered dried blood and a fake beard from the SUV. The DNA from the blood reportedly matched that of Burkett, and the DNA from the fake beard matched that of Beard.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton said, "This case is a sobering reminder of the brutal violence some women endure at the hands of their intimate partners. The victim in this case fought valiantly until the end. We hope today’s sentence brings a measure of peace to her family."
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