He Killed His Ex-Wife When She Came To Pick Up Their Kids. It Was After He Allegedly Killed A Homeless Man As Practice.


Apr. 17 2022, Published 2:35 p.m. ET

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A Washington state man is accused of murdering a homeless person before becoming the man who killed his ex-wife.

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Now, he'll be spending at least 31 years in prison.

A Spokane judge this month sentenced Nathan O. Beal, 37, to more than three decades in prison for killing his ex-wife and he is scheduled to go on trial for the death of the homeless man next month, according to KREM-TV.

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Beal, 36, was convicted of killing Mary Schaffer, 32, in August 2020 outside his home in Brown's Addition. She had gone to his apartment to pick up their son and daughter, KREM reports.

Court documents revealed Beal previously threatened to "put a bullet" in Schaffer's head, according to KREM.

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Beal is also charged with killing Andrew Michael Bull, 30, in April 2020. His body was found in a downtown Spokane alley. Prosecutors had asked to have the murder charges in a joint trial, but a judge declined, KREM reports.

Beal is scheduled to go on trial for Bull's death on May 2.

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Beal and Schaffer's kids spent the summer at their dad's house and spent the rest of their time with their mother in Oregon, the Spokesman reports. The news outlet also noted that Schaffer's sister, Donnella Ray, asked the judge to give Beal the most severe punishment possible.


She said he was cruel toward her daughter with a disability and would talk about killing her and her whole family.

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“Nathan Beal must never be released,” Ray wrote, the Spokesman reports. “Mary was not the only one he intended to murder.”

During trial, Beal said he was "frustrated" with Schaffer, but he denied killing her. However, ballistic evidence linked a gun found in his apartment to her death. The same gun matched a shell casing found in Bull's death as well, court documents said, according to the Spokesman.

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Beal's attorney, who said they plan to appeal, had asked for the low end of sentencing (240 to 320 months), but the judge elected to sentence him on the high end (380 months), the Spokesman reports.

Beal is also not allowed to speak to his children or any of Schaffer's family members, according to the Spokesman.


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