The above picture is in 1997 around the housewarming for 3900 Toro Canyon Road.  They went on a Norwegian Star cruise to St. Thomas and I have a picture of them dated 21 Dec 97 but the above picture better shows their age.


     That's right.  The money was broke up amongst the 5 children.  Celeste had Steven adopt the twins.

REALLY!  That's right!


     People thought it was wrong to keep the money from Steven's children.  They were the rightful heirs.  Well two wrongs do not make it right?  Steven earned the money.  He hired the attorney to draw up the trust like he wanted.  They said Celeste beguiled Steven.  They filed a civil law suit to break the trust and that judge threw it out because Steven signed, putting the second phase of the shopping center into the trust while he was in the hospital.


     I'm in California.  In 1998 we moved to Texas so we were there when Steven was shot in October of 1999.  Tracey Tarlton entered their house in the morning and shot Steven in the stomach.  We didn't leave Texas until March of 2000.

     I was married for 22 years and had four adoptive children.  The family was very dysfunctional and I said, "We have to break this up."  Celeste was 17, married, had twins, and was more or less on her own.  The older boy was living with friends and that left the two younger children.  My ex-husband was responsible for the younger boy and I took the younger girl.  There were unresolved issues with all the children.

     Celeste became estranged and moved out of the California area.  So I did not hear from her until she moved to Texas.  Oh, she called a few times but it was short and to the point.

     My presence in Texas brought about things from her childhood.  These thoughts were disrupting her life.  Her daughters had taken on the role of protecting their mother from me.  We intended to stay.  We built a house but the shunning changed our minds.  We sent flowers to Steven's funeral but I didn't know my place at that time.  Celeste called me before I left and she was shocked to hear we were leaving.

     I had to let things develop and let Celeste come back to me.  She sent me a letter from jail in 2002 and it is in "Wounded Bird."  I know when Celeste was at Timberlawn, Celeste wrote about me.  They said for now, "We won't deal with your mother."  They had to find the triggers that were causing her to be depressed.

     These things happen when kids are small.  They aren't intellectually able to understand.  They become scared and hide.  They won't talk about it.  If the father suggests that he will kill the mother then they definitely will not talk about it.  That is an adult thing and even some adults won't talk.  I took them to psychologists but they would never talk.

     I want to say in "Trial by Perjury" I mention the twins.  In 1999, February 6th, the Beard twins were 18 years old.  In 2000 they were 19 years old.  They taped their mother cussing them out.  The Beard twins were taking money out of her account.  2003 which was the trial, they were 22.  We are not talking about young girls. We're  not talking about 17 year olds or 16 or 13 or 14 year olds.  They were adults.  They were responsible for their actions. 


     Jennifer Beard was shot in the stomach on Oct. 29, 2017 while hosting a Halloween party at her Austin home.

     It is an ironic twist of fate, Jennifer & Kristina's biological father shot himself with a shotgun, Steven Beard, the twins adoptive father was shot with a shotgun and  now Jennifer has multiple shots in her torso by a man renting a room in her house.  It could have been one of Jennifer's own guns. or

     In 1995/1996 Jennifer was living with her biological father in the state of Washington.  Kristina was living with her biological mother, Celeste Beard Johnson.  The twins were seesawed back and forth between divorced parents.  Jennifer was sent for a vacation with her mother while the biological father committed suicide.  That's a very heavy weight for any mother to carry don't you thing?!

     If you think like Jennifer, she only could have saved her father from suicide.  Going on a vacation trip left him alone and caused her father's death.  That might have justified in Jennifer's mind testifying against her mother, Celeste Beard Johnson

     I didn't do much for Celeste at that time until 2006 when her appeal was rejected.  Celeste Beard Johnson sent me information and copies of her appeal.  A writ of habeas corpus was written and I got copies.  Then she sent me a copy of the transcripts.  I began to write and help her at that time.

     I had Celeste's letters from 1996 to 2008 so I put them together into a book called "Wounded Bird:  Includes Letters from Gatesville Prison."  In 2009 I added letters, because June 1, 2009, Celeste was time-barred.  Her habeas corpus was four days late to the Superior Court in Austin. Texas.  They time-barred her for the rest of her life sentence.  It means that Celeste could not submit any more legal papers unless she has new evidence.

     We weren't making much headway with "Wounded Bird."  Celeste Beard Johnson wrote a cookbook with five other inmates with items they bought in the commissary.  I sent it to Hans Sherrer at Justice Denied.  In fact we got a book from him called "Freeing the Innocent:  How We Did it" by Michael and Becky Pardue.  He was in prison for 25 or more years and was innocent.  They kept writing and writing and it inspired us to write.  Hans put the cookbook together and it's called "From the Big House to Your House."  They donated the proceeds to the Justice Institute to help innocent people.

     Since then Celeste Beard Johnson wrote a new cookbook by herself and we just sent it to Hans Sherrer.  It's called "High Fence Foodie."  I hope it will be out in the fall.  So that has been our modus operandi for the last few years.

     Celeste has been in prison for something she didn't do and I have been writing for eight years.  That's been my life.

     Basically, Tracey Tarlton using her own shotgun and a pillow to muffle the sound, shot Steven Beard in the stomach while he was sleeping in his bed.  Tarlton dropped the shell which led the police to her shotgun.

     Open gate and doors with the dropped shotgun shell was used by the Prosecution to connect Celeste Beard to this crime.  The electric gate had been removed by contractors building a new mansion in the adjacent lot to 3900 Toro Canyon Road.  Large trucks were delivering materials for this mansion for two years.  Yet the Prosecution questioned many people in the trial about this gate.  After two years you would have thought the police investigators would have gotten the word about the gate.  The contractors pulled the gate up and placed it on the back lot for easy use by the trucks.

     The open door with hinges was in the garage (Tarlton testified she went through a door with hinges) so Tarlton probably used a flashlight and walked through the dark house to the bedroom.  A lamp was knocked over so probably her shotgun bumped it.

     Take any of these facts and write your own story that is what the Prosecution did!


     Celeste needs a lawyer.  The Medical Examiner's credentials are questionable.  Steven was a very sick man.  There were three doctors, well there were more than one doctor that testified about his death but this one doctor (M.E.) said it was capital murder.  Steven came into the hospital with a heart problem, he got sepsis, then blood clots, and he died.  All these things together you would get blood clots.  The gunshot wound was healed.  It wasn't capital murder.  He died a natural death. 


     The twins got a Protection Order against their mother before the trials began.  They said, "They were afraid of her."  They told the judge that Celeste beat them with a meat tenderizer when they were young.  You know how sometimes you swat children with a spoon.  Oh, big deal but do they have a police report where their mother beat them up.  There was one Incident where Celeste was trying to stab herself at a beauty salon because people were saying that she hurt Steven or wanted him dead.  Kristina got scratched or something like that - I don't know I wasn't there.

     Please listen to the original conversation to clarify every point remembered or inadvertently omitted by 'paraphrasing.'

     It is my opinion every piece of evidence numbered should be reviewed by the jury and given a decision on its truthfulness.  Truthful evidence should out-weigh and line-up against the lies for the final verdict.  We are not picking winners and losers.  We are sending innocent people to life in prison 


     I love my daughter.  Oh, sure she did things but I hoped she would find the Lord, read her Bible, and grow.  That's the way things are done.  She was at Timberlawn from March 1999 until the end of June.  You have to give people a chance to develop.  I would have told Talton to forget it and then walk away.  Celeste walked away and let Steven tell her.

     The party above in this picture is Jennifer and Kristina's 18th birthday on February 6, 1999.  It was a very adult party with male stripers and dress.  Kristina was intimate with her boyfriend at this time.  They married after Celeste Beard Johnson was sentenced in 2003 in Jamaica.  I want you to have no allusions, Jennifer and Kristina Beard were adults!

     Steven Beard initiated a trust and Bank of America became executor over his fortune after his death.  Celeste Beard on the other hand gave Kristina Beard Power of Attorney to write checks while she was in the hospital; Celeste terminated the P.O.A. and the trouble started.

     As a grown-up daughter, Kristina Beard talked to doctors and even tried to hire an attorney to have her mother, Celeste Beard Johnson, committed to a mental institution.  Prison was the next best thing!


          Many people said that Dick DeGuerin was a bad attorney.  He asked the question.  It's all there in the transcripts.  Citizens have a responsibility to listen to both sides.  The jury listened to sensational things and was bored through records and other stuff.  The jury should deliberate when they go back there, ask questions, look at the records, and weight the defense's and prosecution's arguments equally.  Don't just go along.

--------------------------End of paraphrasing---------------------------

Jennifer and Kristina Beard were on vacation in the above picture so they were younger.  They were exploring a cave in Virgin Gorda, the year was 1996.   Steven took the family on vacation twice a year, summer & Christmas.  The twins were 18 years old when Steven was shot and they were graduated from high school.  They became 19 shorty after Steven die on January 22, 2000.  All the conflict with their mother started the summer of 2000.  Celeste Beard Johnson's trial started the beginning of 2003 and she was sentenced on March 20, 2003.

Rob Boyd interviews Nancy Hall on


June 06, 2014


     My name is Nancy Hall, mother of Celeste Beard Johnson.  In 2003 Celeste was convicted of capital murder and injury to an elderly person which was her then husband, Steven Beard.  She was sentenced to two life sentences to run concurrently with 40 straight years before qualifying for parole.


1.  The main electric gate was completely removed by the contractor building a new mansion.

2.  The garage doors were on hinges and were unlocked.

3.  A front room lamp appeared to be bumped, it was laying on its side on the table.

4.  A shotgun shell was found at the foot of the bed on the floor.  Police picked up the shotgun at Tracey Tarlton's house, she had put it back in her closet.  The shotgun had her name engraved on it.  The shell had been reloaded with smaller, stainless steel pellets.  The shotgun passed the ballistics test.

5.  Tracey Talton's lawyer fought the admission of the shotgun for two years in court because the police did not have a warrant in hand when they went to Tarlton's house.  They had to wait for it to be approved and delivered.

6.  April 1st (April Fool's Day) 2002, Tracey Tarlton testified before Judge Julie Kocurek that "She shot Beard, 75, as he lay sleeping in his Westlake hills area home on Oct. 2, 1999,"  "She told police that Johnson told her to enter the house, shoot Beard and leave.

Tracey Tarlton agreed to testify against Beard's widow in her capital murder case for a twenty year prison sentence."  Tracey Tarlton was released from prison in 2011.

7.  Tracey Tarlton had left messages on the Beard telephone that she was coming over to their house with her shotgun before Oct. 2, 1999 shooting.  Steven and Celeste Beard were leaving on an extended tour of Europe that very day.

     The large charts of telephone calls/numbers and Everclear were used as smoke screens to hide the real deal.  Even the taped conversations and pictures covered-up hard evidence.  They got the jury to think about other things.


     You can go to and type in "Trial by Perjury" on the go-line.  They let you read two chapters for free but the rest of the chapters are important.  I gave you actual testimony and the reference to find it in the transcripts. 

     One chapter talks about how Celeste broke her leg.  She was in a cell by herself separated from Tarlton who was in the same jail.  Celeste went to court with a broken leg that wasn't completely healed.  She was taking pain pills and another medicine to keep her calm.  She wasn't fully aware of the trial.  It was a detriment because she wasn't fully competent to be tried for capital murder with a possibility of life in prison.

Celeste is a chef in commissary foods



     I know it's very difficult being around mothers that are sick especially when it's a mental sickness.  My mother had a drinking problem and was depressed but she was MY MOTHER.  No matter what happens that's your mother.  That's your father.  You can't divorce yourself from them.  She was part of me and I was part of her.

     Telephones were a big issue in the trial.  They actually taped their mother's phone calls.  Her lawyer had an expert testify that words were missing off a taped call.  It was his opinion. 

     There was a telephone that had the last four digits 0339 and it was a house phone.  They had no bill records for ATT.  Of course they didn't have any bill records, they were house phones.  Another 8797 last four digits was a house phone in Kristina's bedroom.  Cell phones are billed by time used and house phones are bill differently.  They taped a message on 8797 and took it to a lawyer proving Tarlton was calling the house.  That was one of the little thing testified about but it was important because testimony was presented that secret telephones were used so no bill records suggested it was true.


     They had a way to do that.  It's called 'remuneration.'  Steven was a wealthy man and they said Celeste asked Tarlton to shoot him to get the wealth.  That was a bogus claim because the bulk of Steven's fortune was put into a trust, an irrevocable trust.  The trust owned all the wealth and Celeste was to get the income off of it.