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He Made Unwanted Passes To A Woman In A Bar. Then, He Killed Two College Students Who Defended Her.

bethard stabbing
Source: MEGA; Metro Nashville police

May 7 2023, Published 2:38 p.m. ET

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A Tennessee man killed two college students on vacation after the killer made unwanted passes to a woman. Now, he will never walk free again.

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In Tennessee, Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton handed Michael Mosley two consecutive life terms for the stabbing death of Clayton Beathard, 22, and Paul Trapeni III, 21.

After nearly a week's trial, Mosley was found guilty and convicted by a jury of two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of assault.

On Dec. 21, 2019, Beathard, Trapeni, and another fellow graduate of Battle Ground Academy, A.J. Bethurum, 21, met at a Nashville bar, The Dogwood, on Division Street. According to prosecutors, while the trio was having fun and catching up, Mosley started making unwanted passes to a lady at the bar. Soon, words were exchanged, and a fight ensued.

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As a result, Beathard and Trapeni were both stabbed in the chest, piercing their hearts. Meanwhile, Bethurum was stabbed in the hand and beneath his head, nearly piercing his brain. Bethurum survived the ordeal but fully lost the vision in his left eye.

Prosecutors highlighted the defendant’s violent criminal past and asked the court to consider him a habitual offender. These included Mosley’s role in leading a riot at Cheatham County Jail and a previous conviction in 2021 after assaulting a woman in Walmart.

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“This is 100% Michael Mosley. Michael Mosley did this, this all happened because of him. There’s not one thing a single one of those victims did to bring this to them. Everything they did was what you would do as a human being, you see your friend in trouble you try to help them. He’s the one who did this, he brought this anger and violence to them,” said Prosecutor Jan Norman, according to WKRN.

On the other hand, Mosley’s defense lawyer Ken Quillen argued his client was simply defending himself, considering all three victims were tall, heavily built, and former football players.

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During the sentencing hearing, Beathard’s father and country music writer, Casey Beathard, addressed the defendant directly and told him God loves him. The victim’s father prayed for Mosley’s repentance and hoped he could imagine being great friends with his son when he got to heaven.

“I know your life has been hard here, man, and that stinks. It sucks. I know it. God, please just give it a chance. Give him a chance, please,” Casey Beathard during the victim impact statement, reported WSMV.

Dalton sentenced Mosley to additional 41 years in prison for the attempted murder and assault charges. However, she ordered the defendant to serve the sentence consecutively to the life sentence.

Beathard is the brother of musician Tucker Beathard and former Iowa Hawkeye Quarterback C.J. Beathard. The victim was also the grandson of NFL Hall of Fame’s Bobby Beathard.


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