North Texas man who stalked and killed his ex-girlfriend in custody battle is convicted

A Rowlett man who followed his ex-girlfriend online and shot and stabbed her amid a custody battle was sentenced to 43 years in federal prison on Wednesday, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.

According to the Justice Department, 36-year-old Andrew Charles Beard pleaded guilty in June to cyberstalking, using a dangerous weapon that resulted in death and firing a firearm during a violent crime. He was charged in October 2020.

According to the press release, Beard admitted that on Oct. 2, 2020, he internet stalked and murdered 24-year-old Alyssa Ann Burkett, his ex-girlfriend, in a Carrollton parking lot in an attempt to forcibly gain custody of their daughter. He told federal court he bought a black SUV, attached a GPS tracking device to Burkett’s car, followed her in the SUV to her job at an apartment complex, and dressed up in disguise before shooting Burkett in the head while she was in her car sat.

After returning to his SUV, thinking she was dead, Beard saw Burkett stagger out of her car and tried to get to a nearby building, federal authorities said. Beard got out of his vehicle, ran towards her, grabbed her from behind and then stabbed her 13 times in the upper body. She died in the parking lot and Beard fled the scene.

During the investigation, Burkett’s mother told authorities her daughter suspected Beard was following her and feared he would try to kill her, the Justice Department press release said. Her boyfriend told police Beard was “overly obsessed” with Burkett and her mother.

When police stopped Beard three hours later as he was leaving his home, they confiscated three phones, including a prepaid burner phone. On a phone, investigators found an internet search for “the best way to remove gunpowder residue from hands.”

The Justice Department said police found a pair of men’s hiking boots that were cut up and soaked in bleach in Beard’s car, and at his home they found a battery that matched the GPS tracker attached to Burkett’s vehicle and a written one Script that Beard called a counterfeit drug offense against Burkett a month earlier.

The day after Burkett’s murder, investigators discovered that the SUV that Beard drove to and from the crime scene was abandoned in a residential neighborhood near his home with dried blood and a fake beard inside. The DNA from the blood matched Burkett’s.

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