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'A brutal, bloody crime' | Rowlett man accused of murdering mother of his child pleads guilty to federal crimes

Andrew Charles Beard, 35, was charged with cyberstalking using a dangerous weapon resulting in death and with discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

CARROLLTON, Texas — Editor's note: The video published above is a WFAA report from 2020.

A 35-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing and shooting the mother of his child pleaded guilty on June 22 to two violent federal crimes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

They said Andrew Charles Beard was charged with cyberstalking using a dangerous weapon resulting in death and with discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

Beard allegedly admitted that he cyberstalked and murdered his ex-girlfriend, 24-year-old Alyssa Ann Burkett, in a parking lot in Carrollton on Oct. 2, 2020, in an attempt to gain custody of their 1-year-old daughter. Burkett was granted custody of the child on Sept. 30 after what was described as a "contentious custody battle," an affidavit said.

Prior to her death, Burkett had told multiple people she was scared of Beard and thought he was tracking her, according to the affidavit. 

In his plea papers, Beard said he placed a GPS tracking device on Burkett’s car, entered a black SUV he had purchased for the incident, followed her to the apartment complex where she worked and wore a disguise.

Beard shot Burkett in the head with a shotgun and ran back to his SUV to drive away, thinking he had killed her, the DOJ said. Burkett, however, was still alive and staggered out of her car to try and enter a building to find help. Beard realized Burkett was still alive, exited the SUV, ran up to her and stabbed her 13 times, according to the DOJ. 

Burkett died in the parking lot as Beard raced away from the scene, the DOJ said

“This was a brutal, bloody crime,” said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham. “Ms. Burkett’s daughter is now suffering twin tragedies: Her mother is deceased, and her father is an admitted murderer. We pray for strength for this child and the rest of her family in the days, weeks, and years to come.”

Credit: wfaa

Officers stopped Beard in a white pickup truck three hours after the murder as he drove away from his home. They searched his vehicle and found a pair of men’s hiking boots cut into pieces and soaked in bleach, then searched his house and found a battery that matched the GPS trackers affixed to Burkett’s vehicle. Officers also found a written script Beard had used to phone in a false drug tip against Burkett a month earlier.

Beard also admitted in plea papers that he called in the fake tip – identifying himself as “Frank Marrow" – on Sept. 2, 2020, after planting drugs and a gun in her car.

On Oct. 3, 2020, officers found the black SUV Beard had driven to and from the murder scene abandoned in a residential neighborhood near his home, according to the DOJ. Dried blood recovered from the vehicle contained DNA that matched Burkett, and a fake beard recovered from the vehicle contained DNA that matched Beard. 

Beard now faces up to two life sentences in federal prison. His sentencing has been set for Oct. 6, 2022.

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