A jury found Jarrad Beard guilty of voluntary manslaughter plus gun enhancements for the death of Justin Michael Hesketh and Brandon Moore. Jerry Beard was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter plus gun enhancements for only Hesketh's death. The prosecution and the victims' family members were hoping for a 1st or 2nd degree murder conviction. Moore's father left the courtroom as the verdict was being read saying, "This ain't over."
“It does nothing no matter what the charge was, whether it was murder 1,2 manslaughter, it does nothing to bring our sons back. Justin and Brandon are gone forever,” said Hesketh’s mother, Debbie Hesketh.
The Beard brothers shot and killed Hesketh and Moore last December. Prosecuters claimed it was cold calculated murder. But defense attorneys say their clients acted in self-defense. They say the verdict is a combination of disappointment and relief.
“I know they both hope to have a future someday. At this point I don't think they're thinking that far ahead,” said Jarrad Beard’s attorney, Phillip Cherney. Jerry Beard’s attorney, Scott Baly, added, “I'm sorry to say that the district attorney’s office pursued this case even though we made every chance to make a settlement because it is such an emotional case and tragedy for everyone.”
Sentencing will take place December 11th.