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Michael Mosley Guilty Of Clayton Beathard Murder

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Michael Mosley has been found guilty of the murder of Clayton Beathard. According to court documents Michael Mosley would approach a woman who was with the victims and was told repeatedly to go away. This brought out a situation that would turn violent outside of the Nashville bar when Michael Mosley would stab three people killing Clayton Beathard and Paul Trapeni III and injuring the third man. Clayton Beathard is the brother of former NFL quarterback C.J. Beathard and grandson of Hall of Fame General Manager Bobby Beathard. Michael Mosley would be found guilty of the two murders and of the attempted murder. At sentencing later this year Michael Mosley would not be eligible for parole for 100 years.

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Michael Mosley was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder in the 2019 stabbing deaths of two men outside a Midtown bar.

Michael Mosley was also convicted of attempted first-degree murder after the stabbing left another man blind in one eye and assault against another. 

Michael Mosley was named the suspect in the fight and stabbing that killed two Williamson County college students, Clayton Beathard and Paul Trapeni III, on Dec. 21, 2019, at The Dogwood, a bar on Division Street.

Beathard was stabbed in the chest, hitting his heart. Trapeni, too, was stabbed in the heart, and also in the back.

Another man, A.J. Bethurum, then a 21-year-old University of Tennessee student from Franklin, survived the stabbing with injuries to his eye and arm.

He has since fully lost vision in his left eye, he testified Thursday after the knife went up and under the organ and nearly pierced his brain.

All three victims were old friends and had attended Battle Ground Academy in Franklin together.

Deputy District Attorney Amy Hunter and Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman say Mosley escalated a comment from one of the trio’s friends to a fistfight and then he alone pulled a knife

In statements after the verdict was read Friday afternoon, prosecutors said the case was about the choices Michael Mosley made that took a violent turn. 

“We were thrilled to get that verdict especially for these families who have been so wonderful and they’ve been through so much,” Hunter said. “It was also really great to get that verdict for all of the friends who came and testified, who showed such a level of composure…We were glad that they got justice that they deserved

The defense, led by Nashville attorney Ken Quillen, argued Mosley was acting in self-defense from the tall, athletic former football players in the trio’s friends group. 

The victims had gathered that evening with a handful of other classmates and friends from Franklin or who attended BGA with them. 

Quillen’s closing arguments were stilted and short. 

“I would suggest that when a man angrily walks toward you and points at you, that is a threat,” he said.

Quillen played a video using audio from several initial interviews with witnesses to the fight that were discussed extensively in cross-examination as being out of context. 

He thanked the jury for being “attentive” in a statement that lasted less than 10 minutes. 

Emily Sanders, who said she is Mosley’s best friend, told The Tennessean after the verdict she still believes in her friend. 

“Michael’s a good person,” she said. “He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Sanders comforted Mosley’s sobbing sister as the pair walked out of the courtroom together. 

What took a brawl to a fatal stabbing in the street? 

“It seemed to me every time I separated a situation, another escalated,” Jaycie Harper, a friend of the defendant, said on the stand this week. She was subpoenaed by prosecutors and made clear she was unhappy about testifying against Mosley. 

Questioning took an unexpected turn on the first day of the trial. 

Quillen seemed to thread a narrative that a young woman’s flirting on the night of the stabbing may have kicked off the argument that turned into a brawl. 

On the stand Tuesday morning, she denied it. 

Prosecutors’ first witness was Emma Yoder, a friend of the three victims and fellow BGA alum, who had been out with them in a large group that night. 

She said that a stranger, later identified as Mosley, approached her at least three times at the Dogwood that night, offering to buy her a drink or ask her to dance. She declined multiple times, she said. 

t was on the third time that her old friend Sam Folks put an arm around her and told Mosley she had a boyfriend and to leave her alone. Yoder and Folks were not actually in a romantic relationship, she said. 

Everyone had been drinking that night, and by nearly 3 a.m. were being ushered out of the bar. The BGA group had called rideshares, she said. 

What happened next to escalate Folks’ comment to a fight remains unclear. 

Harper testified she heard someone, possibly Mosley or another companion of theirs, say “we’re going to fight them,” about the high school friends. 

That man, identified as Sergio Alvarado, was supposed to testify in the case this week. But although he was present Monday, he did not return to court the following day. 

Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton issued a bench warrant to find him. 

As of Thursday, there were still ongoing efforts to locate him.

Alvarado has been linked to MS-13 gang activity in a federal investigation after a Nashville nightclub shooting in October 2020. Court documents include the allegation he was violating terms of federal parole by being with Michael Mosley at the Dogwood in 2019. 

Prosecutors this week allege Alvarado was selling drugs that evening, with Mosley’s help. Mosley is not facing drug charges in the case. 

“Only one person knew that people were going to die that night of Dec. 21. Only one person knew Michael Mosley had a knife,” Norman said in the state’s closing arguments. 

Jurors were released to eat lunch and began deliberating around 1 p.m. Thursday. 

The courtroom was packed each day with friends and family of the victims who have previously declined to comment on the case. Extra chairs were brought in to seat more family members in the gallery.

Mosley’s supporters were more sparse, but family members sat in the courtroom on the day of the verdict together. 

As Hunter laid out the state’s rebuttal closing, many of them hung their heads. Their sniffles could be heard across the courtroom. 

“Michael Mosley robbed Paul Trapeni and Clay Beathard’s friends and family of these young men, but he robbed all of us. Those men were going places. Those men were going to be incredible,” she said. “He must be held accountable.”

Hunter fired back at Quillen’s framing around Yoder, calling it, “offensive, ridiculous and unconscionable.”

“Saying this had anything to do with…Emma Yoder is just flat out wrong and cruel to do to these people,” she said. “The defense would have you believe that the defendant was being ganged up on by a group of super-tall athletes.”

“He wasn’t being ganged up on by anybody. He started a fight.”

Mosley faces two life sentences on the first-degree murder convictions. Dalton will be guided by statute to determine whether they should run concurrently or consecutively. 

If consecutive, Mosley would not be eligible for parole for more than 100 years under Tennessee law.

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