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North Texas man who stalked, killed ex-girlfriend in child custody dispute is sentenced

A Rowlett man who stalked his ex-girlfriend online and shot and stabbed her to death amid a child custody dispute was sentenced Wednesday to 43 years in federal prison, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.

Andrew Charles Beard, 36, pleaded guilty in June to cyberstalking, using a dangerous weapon resulting in death and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, according to the Justice Department. He was charged in October 2020.

Beard admitted that he cyberstalked and murdered 24-year-old Alyssa Ann Burkett, his ex-girlfriend, in a parking lot in Carrollton on Oct. 2, 2020, in a violent bid to gain custody of their daughter, according to the news release. He told the federal court he bought a black SUV, put a GPS tracking device on Burkett’s car, followed her in the SUV to her work at an apartment complex and put on a disguise before shooting Burkett in the head while she sat in her car.

After returning to his SUV thinking she was dead, Beard saw Burkett stagger out of her car and try to make it to a nearby building, federal authorities said. Beard got out of his vehicle and ran up to her, grabbing her from behind before stabbing her 13 times in the upper body. She died in the parking lot and Beard fled the scene.

During the investigation, Burkett’s mother told authorities her daughter suspected Beard was following her and feared he would try to kill her, the Justice Department said in the release. Her boyfriend told police Beard was “overly obsessed” with Burkett and her mother.

When police stopped Beard as he left his home three hours later, they seized three phones including a prepaid burner phone. On one phone, investigators found an internet search for “the best way to remove gunpowder residue from hands.”

The Justice Department said police found a pair of men’s hiking boots cut into pieces and soaking in bleach in Beard’s car, and in his home they found a battery fitting the GPS tracker put on Burkett’s vehicle and a written script Beard used to call in a fake drug tip against Burkett a month prior.

The day after Burkett was killed, investigators found the SUV Beard drove to and from the murder scene abandoned in a residential neighborhood near his home with dried blood and a fake beard inside. DNA from the blood matched Burkett.