Teen murder suspect admits initially lying to Fresno police
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Jarrad Beard took the stand to explain what happened the night he crossed paths with Brandon Moore and Justin Hesketh. Jarrad and his 16-year-old brother Jerry Beard are on trial for the murders late last year.
Jarrad Beard admitted initially lying to Fresno police detectives about what happened the night of the murders. But, he said he was dishonest to protect his family. Jarrad said the victims gave them dirty looks before he first shot out the tire of their truck, then confronted them face to face and took their lives.
Jarrad Beard smiled often Friday as he testified about what happened the night he fired a gun at two teens several times at close range. Jarrad said he was grinning because he was nervous.
For the first time, the 19 year old defendant explained how he felt about what happened to Brandon Moore and Justin Hesketh. It prompted Hesketh's mother to leave the courtroom sobbing.
"I feel sorry for the families. I couldn't think, it just happened too fast."
Prosecutor Mike Frye asked Jarrad about details he told the jury Friday that he never included before when he was interviewed by detectives. Jarrad testified Brandon Moore swung at him twice and during the second swing he worried Moore was trying to take his gun.
"I just started shooting like, I wasn't, I couldn't think, I just saw two dudes, big dudes coming at me, I just, like that."
Jarrad says he was running backwards when he alleges the victims told him they were going to kill him. Jarrad says he warned the two plenty of times before pulling the trigger.
Jarrad said: "I asked him you know, back up bro, back up. I don't want no problems."
Defense attorney asks: "Is he looking you in the eyes?"
Defense attorney asks: "Are you looking him in the eyes?"
Jarrad testified he fired at Hesketh because he thought he was trying to pull something out of his sweater.
After the shooting, Jarrad said he ran to his mom's house and took a shower. He said he also told his brothers to take one. Since his sweater had gunshot residue on it, he says he put it in the laundry.
Although Jarred told the court he was in shock and could not eat or sleep after the murders, he did admit he smoked marijuana. Jarrad said he also turned on the news to learn one person had died shortly after emergency crews arrived.
Closing arguments are expected Tuesday, court will be dark on Monday. If the Beard brothers are convicted of first degree murder, they could spend the rest of their lives in prison.
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