Local

Jurors hear from one of the Beard brothers

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

For the first time, jurors heard from one of the brothers on trial for the murders of two other teens in Northwest Fresno last December.

Jerry Beard's statement to police on the day after the shooting came into evidence during the murder trial Tuesday.

Justin Hesketh and Brandon Moore were the victims, but defense attorneys claim they were actually the aggressors, and the Beards shot in self-defense.

Jerry was 15 at the time and initially, he said his brother was the only one to shoot at the victims. But eventually, Jerry admitted he also fired one shot and then tried to explain why he did it.

One gun ended two lives. The Colt 45 commander was in the hands of 19-year-old Jarrad Beard last year when he came across Hesketh and Moore.

In an interview with Sgt. Paul Cervantes, Jarrad's younger brother Jerry said the first bullet rang out while Hesketh and Moore were driving on Polk.

"My brother Jarrad shot," Jerry said to Sgt. Cervantes. "I guess he shot the car or truck."

We're not allowed to show you video of Jerry Beard's police interview, but he said the other teens ran after him and his brother, and another teen.

When those other teens -- Hesketh and Moore -- caught up to the Beards' group, Jerry said his brother pulled the gun out again.

"My brother told them to back up, (unintelligible)," Jerry said. "One of the dudes started to swing at him."

At first, Jerry told investigators his brother was the only one who shot, but after admitting police would find two guns in his mother's room, he changed his tune.

"If you shot a gun, explain the reason why you shot the gun," Sgt. Cervantes told Jerry.

"Can I start over?" Jerry asked.

Defense attorneys say the Beards fired in self-defense.

They say Hesketh and Moore were hopped up on meth and acting violently. Hesketh even carried a small piece of pipe while he chased them. And when Jerry Beard eventually admitted he did shoot at the other teens, he said he was scared. He also said he was further away from the victims, while his brother was up close.

"I don't know how many times he shot," Jerry Beard said. "(He) shot probably three times, four times. I don't know, but I had shot once, but I didn't think I hit anybody."

Prosecutor Mike Frye called two witnesses back to the stand Tuesday to testify again about hearing a series of gunshots, then a pause, followed by another shot or more. He's down to his last witness before turning the trial over to the defense.

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Tags:
crimetracker, murder, court, fresno, fresno county, fresno northwest, local, corin hoggard
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