Rosemary Lehmberg, D.A. - William Mange, A.D.A. - Julie Kocurek, Judge - Allison Wetzel, A.D.A. - Gary Cobb, A.D.A. -
(Defense Attorneys) Charles Burton - Dick DeGuerin - Catherine Baen - Matt Hennssey
On October 2, 1999, Tracey Tarlton shot Steven Beard (Celeste's husband) with her 20-gauge shotgun while he was sleeping in his bed. Steven and Celeste had agreed to terminate all relationships with her.
In the month of September 1999 Tarlton's was angry because telephone calls were not returned by Celeste. They were friends for six months. Over half of the time Celeste Beard was in Dallas at Timberlawn and/or traveling. Tarlton was in Austin.
In June Kristina removed two handguns from Tarlton's house. Then in September Celeste Beard and her daughters hid in a dark house because Tariton had left a message that she was coming over with her shotgun. Steven thought it was theatrics because no one spoke about Tarlton's mental health. Steven and Celeste Beard planned an extended trip on October 3, 1999.
The trial never showed the real story, or maybe I should say the truth was bogged down with unimportant testimony, which is good fiction for a Danielle Steele or better yet a John Grisham novel.
Jennifer and Kristina are Celeste Beard's twin daughters. Steven adopted them three months before they turned 18 years old, so they would inherit along with Steven's three older children. On April 4, 2000, Celeste revoked the power of Attorney that Kristina used to do some business for Celeste Beard while she was in the hospital. Kristina and Christopher saw Tarlton ranting while Celeste Beard hid in the trunk of the car. Kristina took Tarlton's guns to the police and she warned many people that Tarlton threatened to shoot Steven. Doctors, lawyers, friends, and the daughters - NO ONE CALLED THE POLICE.
Tracey Tarlton met Celeste Beard at a psychiatric hospital in the spring of 1999 in Austin, Texas and they became friends. On October 2, 1999, Tracey Tarlton shot Steven Beard (Celeste's then husband) in the stomach with "her" 20-gauge shotgun while he was sleeping in his bed. He fumbled for the phone and dialed 911, "I need an ambulance," "My guts just jumped out of my stomach," "Hurry." Steven F. Beard, Jr. died on January 22, 2000 about four months after the shooting. Celeste Beard's criminal trial began in 2003. Two years after Steven's death Tarlton included Celeste in the plan for shooting Steven and received a reduced sentence and was paroled after 10 years.
2/23/1999 - 8/29/1999 Celeste was friends with Tarlton for a little over six months. She was at Timberlawn for at least three months and traveling for a month and a half to the state of Washington and Australia which equals four and half months not available for possible contact with friends.
1/3/2000 Doug Byers, Fox Service worker, returned to 3900 Toro Canyon to do an extensive list of things Celeste wanted done. Before she went to Timberlawn in March, he saw the kids rifling through Celeste's belongings in the house.
1/25/2000 Steven Beard's older children met with Assistant District Attorney Mange and probably Assistant District Attorney Lehmberg on the night of January 25, 2000 after the funeral to discuss their father's death. They had concerns that Celeste was involved with Steven's death. Becky Beard communicated with Kristina several times during this time.
4/4/2000 Prosecution contended Tarlton and Celeste communicated from May 18, 1999 to July 2000. The twins moved out in April 2000.
4/7/2000 Jennifer Beard, Kristina Beard, Christopher, and Justin took tapes and papers to Mr. Mange, Assistant District Attorney, on April 7, 2000. A pickup cell phone was being used until July 2000 as testified and called a secret phone.
Court of Appeals of Texas, Third District, Austin dated March 23, 2006 wrote, "The last cell phone number billed to Beard, shown in the spreadsheets as being used by appellant, was not identified by any witness. The exhibits reflect no activity for this number until April 2000, well after the critical time period in this cause."
6/15/2000 Tarlton followed Celeste home in her car and was run off by Dr. Robert Dennison. He testified to Tarlton aggression and Celeste backing away frightened.
7/3/2000 Celeste Beard Married Cole Johnson in Aspen, Colorado.
Using 12 months, Celeste Beard was at Timberlawn May - June 1999 and March 2000. She traveled another one and half months. Four and half months out of the 12 , Celeste Beard did not have much contact with her family let alone Tarlton.
Seven and half months of 13,685 cell phone calls, 30-40 sexual liaisons, graduation parties, and hamburger nights. Celeste was renovating the house at 3900 Toro Canyon updating the security system. She was cleaning out the storage area, shopping for Christmas, and planning Steven's 75th Birthday party. Remember they testified that Celeste supposedly spent four months with Steven in the hospital fending off visitors. They testified that Steven drank 3 to 4 drinks of straight Everclear a day for FOUR YEARS! The Prosecution's case is ABSURD! Yet Celeste was convicted and no one will fight this case.
John Grisham wrote in "Rogue Lawyer," "The presumption of innocence is now the presumption of guilt. The burden of proof is a travesty because the proof is often lies. Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt means if he probably did it, then let's get him off the streets."
CELESTE BEARD JOHNSON NEVER TESTIFIED IN HER TRIAL.
The Constitution Amendment XIV
"No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Based on the evidence stated which can be easily verified, Celeste Beard Johnson is held by the State of Texas against her rights.
I almost forgot the telephone! The prosecution had an associate forensic analyst make huge charts of all billable minutes between Tarlton and the Beards from their AT&T records. From May 18 to December 31, 1999 there were 5,666 calls and in the year 2000 there were 8,019 calls.
Tarlton testified, "Yes, there were a whole handful of numbers and sometimes she would have Kristina's phone or, you know, the girls' phone. A lot of times I used --- the cue I used, they would tell me, I'm going to have this to do that and so I would know which phone to use to call her on it. When she would call me, she would leave a message to tell me which number to call her back on." (V. 26 P. 272 & 273). HOW CAN YOU VERTIFY THAT TARTON WAS ACTUALLY TALKING TO CELESTE. All we know is one telephone number called another telephone number. It could have been on redial and received by an answering machine.
All these calls were connected to Celeste even though many times she was physically in the Timberlawn Hospital. Celeste was there for two weeks the end of March/first of April, first of May, and two weeks the end of June 1999. Whenever Celeste felt suicidal, she went back into the hospital and when she was in the hospital, cell phones were not allowed.
When not in the hospital during the week, Celeste was required to attend classes at Timberlawn from an apartment Steven rented in Dallas. She was in the Dallas area from the end of March to the first of July. July and August Celeste was traveling with her family and September 1999 she was distancing herself from Tarlton. Do you believe Celeste talked to Tarlton 5,666 time in 1999 from May to December? Do you believe Celeste talked to Tarlton 8,019 times in 2000?
The trial covered every medical record. Did the charts match the in-hospital as well as the out-hospital admissions? Big blocks of minutes should have stood out and certainly reduce the size of the charts. The whole exhibit is very suspect.
Tarlton was released from Timberlawn at the end of April 1999. Kristina had a big fight with Steven around the same time. The fight was over telephones. Kristina used the fax machine in Steven's office and made a three-way call between Celeste in the Dallas apartment and Tarlton in Austin to do a book report at 2:00 am in the morning. The hotel staff complained about printing the faxes and taking them to Celeste. The spreadsheets started in May 1999, coincidence? Kristina went to stay with Jimmy Martinez, Celeste's ex-husband, to let things cool down in the Beard household. Tarton felt pushed out of Timberlawn by Steven and she also supported Kristina.
Tarlton was arrested on a DWI leaving the graduation party at Jimmy Martinez's house. From jail she called Kristina and got little response because Kristina was half asleep. Tarlton called again and again which woke-up Steven. Tarlton called Kristina's house phone and then had to call Steven/Celeste's house phone for him to be awaken. Any calls in Kristina's room would not be heard in the other part of the house and any calls in Steven's room would not be heard in Kristina's room. The mansion at 3900 Toro Canyon Road was designed for side-by-side privacy. It explains why no one sleeping in Kristina's room could hear the shotgun shot which was muffled by a pillow or the banging by the police on the front door. It was the lights in the patio that woke Kristina and Celeste. Steven asked the 911 operator to call his wife who was sleeping in the other wing of the house, CALL KRISTINA'S HOUSE PHONE! Steven slept with a machine running all night for his sleep apnea which caused Celeste to sleep in Kristina's room to get rest for their trip.
After the shooting Steven hired an attorney because the rumor was that Tarlton was going to blame Celeste for her crime. This attorney interviewed the twins on October 5, 1999. He had the twins screen all of Celeste's calls. Celeste was not to talk to Tarlton. November 16, 1999, Tarlton's attorney called Charles Burton, the Beard attorney, to report that Celeste had been calling his office for a sit down talk with Tarlton about the numerous telephone calls from her. Tarlton's attorney never talked to Celeste. November 23, 1999, Steven signed putting the second phase of the shopping center into the Marital Trust. The Beard children canceled their trip to Austin for Steven's 75th Birthday party. That is the timeline probably to the end of the 1999.
Celeste was back at Timberlawn in March and April of 2000. July 3, 2000 Celeste remarried and August 29-31, 2000 was the Civil Trial that the Beard children brought against Celeste. Charles Burton re-recorded a telephone call from Tarlton on March 24, 2000 at 2:17:41 p.m. while Celeste was at Timberlawn. It was something of this nature, "Hi Kristina. You just called me. If you need something or if everything is not all right call me back." It was received on a house phone in Kristina's bedroom.
The 2000 telephone calls had to be on Beard's records between January through March 2000 to possibly have Celeste talking to Tarlton. Celeste's daughters and friends were bringing papers and tapes to Mr. Mange starting April 7, 2000.
Peggy Farley Honaker, advanced clinical practitioner, starting seeing Kristina in April 1999 through April 2000. April 2000 Kristina called her at 3:00 in the morning frantic saying could she come stay at her house? Jennifer and Kristina, Celeste's twin daughters, stayed there until after July 4, 2000. My question is, were calls made from the twins' cell phones to or from Tarlton during their stay with Peggy Farley?
June 20, 2000, Jennifer and Kristina signed an application for a protective order from Celeste and received approval by two judges on July 11, 2000. It doesn't look like any legitimate calls were made by Celeste using the twins' cell phones in April, May, June or July 2000. The transcripts show the twins were mostly in rebellion and not returning Celeste's call in 2000.
We know from the trial that Celeste was backing away for Tarlton on June 15, 2000. Dr. Robert Dennison testified that he saw them in the driveway of 3900 Toro Canyon. By early August Tarlton was having very serious drug ingestions. August 4, 1999, October 10, 1999, and June 15, 2000 Tarlton was in the hospital for what they thought were suicide attempts. October 10th Tarlton found out the condition of her bond, "She was NOT to see Celeste." August 3rd Celeste and the twins went to Australia, so we see another hospitalization by Tarlton then on June 15, 2000 Tarlton confronts Celeste and is run off.
You can see the importance of the dates and the person speaking. Celeste has no defense just listing telephone numbers. There is no defense against cell phones haphazardly passed from person to person.
It is interesting to note at this time that Steven stayed home from the Australia trip because he didn't feel well. He also returned from the July trip to Washington State because of his physical health.
Court of Appeals of Texas, Third District, Austin, on March 23, 2006 wrote, "The billing records for eleven cell phone numbers, all billed to either Beard or Tarlton, were introduced in evidence as State exhibit 185. These records documented thousands of calls made between May 1999 and July 2000."
Then the Court of Appeals wrote, "The spreadsheets were introduced pursuant to evidence rule 1006, which provides that the contents of voluminous writings, otherwise admissible, that cannot conveniently be examined in court may be presented in the form of a chart or summary. Tex. R. Evid. 1006.
TRICK OR TREAT! Because there were voluminous records the prosecution could make charts and present them in court. It doesn't matter if the records are accurate to calls between Celeste and Tarlton. Finally the Court of Appeals wrote; "The trial court's admission of exhibits 179 through 184 has not been shown to be an abuse of discretion."
Twice the large charts hurt Celeste; the physical evidence was not in the jury room, because it was deemed too large. There was no chance for the jury to check dates and times of all these calls, because the charts were not in the jury room. To top it off Tarlton testified she got a separate cell phone in January of 2000 which was supposedly given to Celeste to use. The calls on this cell phone were on the chart. The young people called it a "secret" cell phone in their testimony.
The Court of Appeals wrote, "January 2000 after appellant's daughters changed all of the Beard telephone numbers. She testified that this phone, which is identified in the spreadsheets was being used by appellant, was kept by appellant and used by her to call Tarlton. Consistent with this testimony, the spreadsheets show no activity for this phone number until January 2000. Other testimony shows that this was the so-called "secret"" cell phone discovered in appellant's car on the day Beard died and later seen in appellant's possession." THE TESTIMONY BY THE YOUNG PEOPLE AND TARLTON WAS THE "SECRET" CELL PHONE WAS IN "STEVE'S CADILLAC" - NO ONE DROVE STEVEN'S CADILLAC! Steven's car was special made by Cadillac. They cut two cars in half to make a bigger car for Steven. The back seat was like a limousine, so Celeste never wanted to drive it besides she had her own Cadillac. Celeste smoked in her cars and Steven was a non smoker. Celeste never smoked in the house or Steven's car. Steven would never call Tracey Tarlton!
It was testified in court as "Steve's Cadillac" since Lieutenant Paul Knight did a walk-through of the house and grounds at 3900 Toro Canyon on October 2, 1999. He testified that he found a loose Nokia cell phone lying in the front center console of a car in the middle of three cars parked in the garage. Steven parked his Cadillac in that space. Knight saw Tarlton's phone number listed in the Nokia cell phone. It WAS NOT placed into evidence even though Tarlton was a "person of interest" at that time. Judges on TV often search through cell phones for agreements between parties.
(512) 347-0339 and (512) 347-8797 were house phones which meant the monthly bill was paid to Southwestern Bell for usage. Long distance calls would be billed by AT&T. It didn't mean they were "secret" just not used to call long distance. In fact the call that was recorded and taken to Charles Burton's office on March 24, 2000 was recorded first on 347-8797 saying, "Hi Kristina. You just called me. If you need something or if everything is not all right, call me back."
The jury had to request a piece of evidence. Some evidence was accepted by the Court but not shown to the jury. How could they request evidence when they didn't know it was there? The evidence is numbered, so it is my opinion that the jury should decide if every piece of evidence is truthful or not. The truthful evidence should out-weigh the lies.
Celeste paid Dick DeGuerin one MILLION dollars plus expenses for her defense. He went line by line through medical records of Brackenridge Hospital, HealthSouth Rehab, Timberlawn, and St David's, North Austin Medical Center for Steven, Celeste, and Tarlton. The hospitals had doctors, nurses, and other workers testifying about these written records. DeGuerin continued line by line of several doctor office records and the Medical Examiner's autopsy. He did line by line of attorney records which included the will and Marital Trust. There were diaries read line by line and the jury ignored all of these records.
It showed that Celeste was getting on with her life with Steven and her children. Dealing with her depression, making trips, and parties for the girls' graduation from high school, when did Celeste have time to make/receive 13,685 calls to any one? Think about it, that would be about 40 calls per day! Even four people making ten calls to Tarlton every day of the year is excessive or mischievous tricks!
Don't you know that Steven had a screaming fit over a three-way call between Kristina, Tarlton, and Celeste in May 1999 to do a book report at 2:00 in the morning. State's Exhibit 159 was a bill notice from a Dallas hotel listing charges with a post-it note from Steven about telephone calls. It wasn't just the money, Kristina could do her own book report. It hit a nerve in Steven because the twins had cheated on another report for school. He PAID $10,000 for tutoring lessons just to be called to school for the girls' cheating. Steven called me to cut-off the service for the cellphone I had.
Telephone calls were an important part of Celeste's trial and it appeared to start at the three-way call incident. April 30th 1999 Celeste stepped down to day sessions at Timberlawn and lived at the Dallas hotel. That weekend she went home and arranged for Kristina to live with her ex-husband until things cooled down. She was late for her day session. Instead of Monday she checked in on Tuesday, May 4th. There was talk of divorce from Steven. They talked it out at Timberlawn.
Ms. Wetzel asked, "And did you ever have any disagreements with him (Steven) about anything? Kristina testified, "Normal teenage stuff. I mean, sometimes I didn't like food that he liked and he would say, "You don't know what you're talking about. You like it." Mostly things like that." I guess she forgot this terrible episode. Kristina did say the tutoring was to make-up classes that she needed to graduate in 1999. The twins had repeated second grade.
Annetta Black, Associate Forensic analyst, testified about the spreadsheet in State's Exhibit No. 179 for May 18th to December 31st 1999 there were 5,666 calls. Tarlton was released back to Austin the week of April 21, 1999. Tarlton writes in her diary on 5-31-99, "Pressuring her, smothering. I want her to be available to call me every day. I call her too much, all day sometimes. I make her feel like she is not doing right with Kristina and that Kristina and I are in cahoots."
Mr. DeGuerin asked, "Did you make an investigation into whatever relationship, friendship, whatever there was between Kristina and Tracey Tarlton? Detective Rick Wines testified, "No, sir."
It was Steven that changed the July trip to the State of Washington to include himself. It was Steven that pushed Kristina Beard out of the way and took Celeste's hand after the shooting. It was Steven that threw a cup of ice in Kristina's face in the hospital when she whispered something in his ear. It was Steven that placed all his assets in the Marital Trust and he was the only person with the authority to make that change.
"They that have power to hurt and will do none, they rightly do inherit heaven's graces," Shakespeare wrote. Steven setup a trust fund for his children. I DO NOT BELIEVE STEVEN WAS DELIBERATELY TRYING TO HURT HIS CHILDREN, HE DID EXPRESS TOUGH LOVE! The Beard twins would get their first payment when they were thirty, but very little funds were left in it. Steven signed an Amendment on November 23, 1999 while he was in the hospital, placing the second phase of his shopping center into the Marital Trust. It might be a problem for management to have the phases split into different trusts. The Marital Trust would be divided amongst the children if Celeste died, was committed to a mental hospital or in prison.
A typed letter was sent to Celeste Beard Johnson saying, "Hey Dike. Why don't you do something to join your husband, Steve?" Mary Lou Gibbs testified, "When I held it up and saw that --- I mean it was unsigned and when I was reading it, I could see that there were letters from where paper had been laid over it and like that was the second sheet and to me it was Kristina's writing in this. It wasn't her whole name, but you could see --- I could make out Kristina B-E-A. So I advised Celeste to take it to her attorney."
The above letter was received in August, 2000. Janet Fenner Masson, forensic document examiner, testified, "In my opinion, the impressions were probably cause by a writing of a signature of the name Kristina Beard, or partial signature. That is the same person who wrote the writing on, for instances Defendant's Exhibit 242, the documents that were written in my presence. The reason the opinion is qualified because I don't have the original signature that caused these impressions to examine it for things like writing quality."
The children tried to put Celeste Beard in a mental hospital. They filed a civil trial against her to break the Marital Trust.
Tarlton had problems with guns, alcohol, drugs, and was in and out of the hospital in Austin. The trial was not SPEEDY, but it did show Celeste Beard was busy.
The Toro Canyon Mansion was about 7,000 sq. ft. with 14 "French-style" doors which were sliding doors. They had no hinges. The front door and two garage doors were the only doors with hinges. The officer testified the front door was locked, so they went around back. Tarlton erred when she claimed the pool-side door had hinges. The house was a U-shape. It had over 125 panes of glass and most were floor to ceilings. People called it the glass house. Steven wanted 14 foot ceiling so he could see their 2 1/2 acres of land. There were NO blinds or drapes on the windows except in the bedrooms and bathrooms. The house had 274 ceiling lights.
The picture above is the front door of 3900 Toro Canyon Road house. Steven and Celeste's rooms are on the left side of the door. The twins rooms were on the right side of the door. The patio and pool separated the legs of the U-shaped building. Steven never entered the twin's side of the house and the twins stayed on their side. They had everything to make them comfortable, they even had a private entrance.
Celeste and Steven Beard had a computer and fax machine in their office. They had a house phone and television center. The twins had computers in their room along with a separate house phone. They had a separate television service. Mr. Cobb asked, "Was there some period where you (Justin Grimm) or Kristina or you AND Kristina Beard copied some things that were --- that were on the FAMILY'S computer at the Toro Canyon home?" Where was the family computer? The house was setup for Celeste and Steven Beard's side and Jennifer and Kristina Beard's side with separate computers, phones, and televisions.
After Steven was shot while Celeste Beard was at the hospital visiting Steven, the young people searched the other side of the house. A handyman working at the house testified he saw them searching.
The young people open Celeste Beard's office computer without permission and entered a password lock in it. They changed the alarm codes, the safe pass codes and answering machine pass code for 3900 Toro Canyon and the lake house. The master keys to the houses, safes, and cars were stolen. These keys were used to over-ride the combinations with new combinations. Celeste was completely locked out of her house and property.
They moved out of 3900 Toro Canyon but disconnected the new security system, so no record would be recorded of their comings and goings. They went to Celeste Beard's Veterinarian and picked up Steven's birthday dog, Kaci, and gave it away. Most of the time Celeste was at Timberlawn in the Dallas area trying to recover from Steven's death. Remember the young people recorded every telephone call from Celeste. There were questions about these actions. Where is Kaci? Where are my master keys? Who changed the pass codes? Please come home. Would you pick me up from Timberlawn?
Court of Appeals of Texas, Third District, Austin
2006 Tex. App. Lexis 2254
March 23, 2006
"The court of appeals disagreed. The combined weight of the nonaccomplice evidence was more than sufficient to connect defendant to the offense. Defendant was unhappy in her marriage and often expressed the wish that her husband would die. In fact, defendant was shown to have regularly tampered with the victim's food and drink in a manner that was dangerous to his health. Defendant began spending lavishly even before the victim died, and she was noticeably elated following his death. Defendant's atypical behavior on the day of the shooting tended to connect her to the offense. After the shooting, defendant secretly remained in contact with her accomplice and attempted to keep the accomplice's name out of the investigation. Defendant was generally uncooperative with the police and encouraged her daughters and their friends to be the same. Therefore, the corroborative evidence was sufficient to sustain defendant's capital murder conviction."
So all the above nonaccomplice testimony connected Celeste to the shooting. When the testimony is false, what should be done to Celeste Beard Johnson's conviction? She is in prison for a crime that she did not do.
The Lexis 2254 wrote, "In a legal sufficiency review, all the evidence is reviewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, and it is ASSUMED that the trier of fact resolved conflicts that supports the verdict." Who is the "trier of facts?" I believe that it is speaking of the twelve jurors. "Although due deference still must be accorded the FACT FINDER'S determinations, particularly those concerning the weight and credibility of the evidence." It continues, "The reviewing court may disagree with the result in order to prevent a manifest injustice."
Everything being reviewed is based on HALF TRUTHS! No review of the house layout at 3900 Toro Canyon, new mansion being built, liquor stores, relationship between Tarlton and Kristina, Southwestern Bell Telephone service, or records from the Dallas hotel. Tarlton tried to rundown a person over a gay expletive and Steven said, "He wanted to get rid of that damn dike."
Home phone in Kristina Beard's bedroom with messages (44) still listed from Tracey Tarlton: 512-416-1058 was probably Tarlton's phone. 10/02 is the date - 10/02/1999, Steven was shot! Jennifer Beard with Christopher and Amy were at the lake house on 10/2/99. Kristina Beard and Justin wanted to go but she was needed at home. These calls were at 6:52 pm, so that was after the shooting. The family was at the hospital or at a hotel. Were the 44 calls on the large chart exhibit in court? - NO! The 44 calls were not long distance calls. Why didn't the police take this phone into custody? I know why, because it was in Kristina's bedroom and they never searched there. The crime was in the other wing of the house
Lots of pictures were sent to me from DeGuerin's office in 2009 and this picture was included in the group. Keith Hampton, Tarlton's lawyer, testified that calls were made to setup an appointment about the many telephone calls from Tarlton. Maybe this picture was taken to prove Tarlton kept calling.
The Constitution Amendment IV
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures."
The police had a search warrant which Celeste signed and they did an extensive search of the 3900 Toro Canyon house immediately after the shooting. They found none of the circumstantial evidence presented in court.
The twins and friends brought things AFTER the original search warrant claiming they originated at Celeste's house. Some were found in her garbage can. Justin Grimm testified that pieces of evidences were hidden around his house which accounts for the many trips to the district attorney's office.
Some evidence appeared with outlandish stories about Everclear, typed/unsigned letter and a tape. Celeste was accused of switching Everclear for Steven's vodka to make him drunk quickly. Texas sold 190 proof Everclear. Vodka is 80 proof. Steven had 3 to 4 glasses of vodka a day. Phil Presse testified, "Well, Everclear is terrible. I dropped some on the floor one time and it burned my floor white. If it does that to your stomach, you could certainly tell, I think. I would think an experienced vodka drinker would tell the difference between straight Everclear and straight vodka." An old fashion glass was filled with ice and straight Everclear was poured to the top of the glass according to the testimony of Kristina.
Dr. Roberto Bayardo, Medical Examiner for Travis County, Texas, testified from his autopsy on February 12, 2003 as follows: "His (Steven Beard's) liver was also large. The gallbladder had been also removed. Then I continued to examine the spleen, the kidneys, the pancreas, the adrenal glands. They were normal for --- except for engorgement with blood." Dr. Bayardo examined the gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach, and the intestines. The intestines had adhesions, but where are any signs of drinking 3 to 4 glasses of straight 190 proof Everclear for a year or more as testified? Do you think organs could be damaged by the consumption of straight Everclear for a year or more? Mr. DeGuerin asked,"So from the time you moved into Toro Canyon until the end, she would pour out all of the Wolfschmidt vodka and pour in Everclear?" Kristina answered, " Correct. She even did that when we lived out at the lake house." Celeste and Steve Beard's HOUSE WARMING was Sunday, November 9, 1997. DNA became scientific evidence that released people from prison, so Steven's autopsy should be the scientific proof the young people and Tarlton were lying!
The defense wanted to present testimony from liquor store managers/owners along with their records to proof NO Everclear was purchased, but the Court denied that testimony. Think - how many bottles of Everclear would be bought for 3 to 4 drinks a day?! Kristina testified that Celeste Beard bought Everclear at the Twin Liquors on Westbank Drive and Bee Caves, it would have been nice to see their records. Christopher was asked, "And where did she go to do that?" He testified, "I believe it was the Twin Liquors. I believe that is the name of the store, in Westlake, right around the corner from the house." Tarlton said, "I don't know the name of the liquor store. It's --- if you are at Ben White and South Congress, just about a half a block up is a little small liquor store with a drive-through and that's the liquor store that we went to." Tarlton testified that she bought Everclear for Kristina because Kristina was 18 years old at the time. Maybe someone could have found that liquor store if they were checking it out in 1999 or 2000.
It was not good faith evidence to have a typed letter which was unsigned because anyone could have originated it. Finally, the tape had blank spaces in Celeste Beard's conversation which left it unfinished as the expert testified. It was all heard by the jury. None of this evidence was secured by a warrant and NO logs were kept by the prosecution to define the origin of it other than it was purported to have come from Celeste's house.
Officers searched the house and grounds the day of the shooting while Celeste and the twins were at the hospital with Steven. Celeste Beard signed the search warrant. Two officers went to Tarlton's house to pickup her shotgun. The three cars were in the garage for them to search.
The Constitution Amendment V
"Nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself."
A civil lawsuit was filed against Celeste by the Beard Children. She gave sworn testimony before a court reporter and then this lawsuit was dismissed. Celeste Beard was not charged with anything on August 25 of 2000, the date of the deposition. Some of this sworn testimony was present in the criminal trial. The questions and answers selected and read to the jury tended to support Tarlton's lies which was/is against Celeste Beard's Fifth Amendment rights. The deputation floated around for two years. Celeste was not arrested until March 28, 2002.
Pool-side entry to the Beard house at 3900 Toro Canyon Road. The police entered by breaking one of the doors. Tarlton supposedly entered by this side of the house.
The pictures above were used for the invitation cards sent to friends of the housewarming at 3900 Toro Canyon Road. It fills in the timeline for the testimony about Everclear. The lies testified by the young people that Steven was drinking 190 proof Everclear for over 2 YEARS! He was shot on October 2, 1999. No liquor store person to testify that Everclear was 190 proof; it doubled the strength of vodka. The damage to the human body would be much greater!
The Constitution Amendment VI
"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed."
"A defendant on trial for a specific crime is entitled to his day in court, not in a stadium or city of nationwide arena," said Tom C. Clark. Celeste Beard's trial was discussed daily on T.V. and in the newspapers. Many books have been written and few writers have met Celeste Beard or me.
Four people from the Bank of America testified all day on February 5, 2003. David Kuperman returned the next day for another 100 pages of transcript. Every financial transaction Steven Beard made was discussed. Celeste's name was on the Marital Trust which became irrevocable after Steven died. It was setup with the IRS to avoid the large inheritance tax. Celeste would receive income off Steven's investment and pay income tax yearly. Everything was legally drawn up and signed in 1998. More wasted trial time to learn the internal workings of the Bank of America.
Over and over salacious things were said to offend the jury. Private wifely communications were used for the purpose of shock. What does a 'pet' name of an ex-husband's 'penis' have to do with this crime or testimony about Steven's habit of having oral sex on Sunday? It is none of anybody's business.
Silly incidents were mentioned which had absolutely nothing to do with the shooting like toilet papering a house and door bell ditching.
Three shotguns were tested and presented in the trial along with two Simplicity Wedding bands. Tarlton's shotgun matched ballistics on October 7, 1999. She fought the admission of her shotgun as evidence in court for a year and didn't win. All this testimony slowed the trial's completion.
In fact the trial was so long, one exhausted juror was overheard saying; "Oh God, let's get this damn thing over with." They had finally reached the end of their patience, so the Court sent it for deliberations.
People feel a "speedy trial" means get the criminal to court quickly. That didn't happen either. Celeste Beard Johnson was arrested two years later. The Court denied any extensions of time to prepare for a defense.
I always wondered why they didn't ask for the death penalty, but then I remembered a person on death-row has pro-bono lawyers searching through transcripts looking for errors. There are too many errors for that to happen.
The Constitution Amendment VIII
"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, no cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."
The grand jury suggested the bail be set for $20 million the highest amount ever in the State of Texas. Judge Kocurek reconsidered and reduced Celeste's bail to $8 million, still the highest bail amount. The judge incorrectly reasoned that because Celeste Beard Johnson's passport was filled with numerous trips in and out of the country since 1994, Celeste posed a flight risk. When Celeste's bail was reduced to $500k by the Appellate Court, the State submitted a second indictment with a bail amount of $15 million. The absurd amount of her bail meant that she would not be free to assist with her defense.
Celeste Beard Johnson was sentenced to two life sentences to run concurrently with 40 straight years before parole. Tracey Tarlton was paroled in 2011.
The Constitution Amendment I
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the fee exercise thereof; "
The term "separation of church and state" appears nowhere in the Constitution. The Constitution only forbids government sponsorship and compulsion of religious exercise by individual citizens." (Where in the Constitution is "Separation of Church and State" by Michael Stokes Paulsen)
Mr. Cobb, assistant prosecutor, in his closing argument quoted Bible verses. I Timothy 6:9 ends with; "which drown men in destruction and perdition." Even the Bible seems to condemn a person to hell for desiring to be rich. Texas is a Bible-belt state. Should Dick DeGuerin receive a doctorate in theology to defend Celeste? The Bible is a faith system. I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins. Chinese, Japanese, Muslins, and even Voodoo-ism have faith systems. Truisms can be found in all faiths, but reversing the sayings doesn't work. You see a man with no hands; you can't say he was a thief. Celeste Beard is debilitated and in a mental hospital. Does that prove the depth of her "Love of Money?" The Bible is not the standard in criminal trials. "Reasonable doubt" is the standard, but where does using the Bible stand under Amendment I. Do you think using the Bible sets a precept in criminal law and violates Amendment I?