Beazley, 25, is the senior class president with a "ready smile" who put a gun to the head of a 63-year-old man and pulled the trigger. I'm only guessing about the "ready smile" part. Vicious, lumpen predators who would slaughter an old man for a three-block joy ride are always described in the press as having "ready smiles."
Beazley lost his proud boast of having no criminal record when he killed a man at 17 years old. Along with his two hoodlum friends, Beazley confronted John Luttig and his wife, Bobbie, in their own driveway in 1994. Beazley wanted their Mercedes-Benz, so he shot them.
He then walked into a puddle of Mr. Luttig's blood and shot him a second time directly in the head. He rifled through the dead man's pants pocket for the car keys and took the Mercedes. Mrs. Luttig survived by playing dead.
This wasn't a crime out of "Columbo." Beazley crashed the Mercedes a few blocks away and left it behind, awash with his prints. Also not good from the "perfect crime" standpoint, Beazley had previously informed his classmates that he soon expected to be driving a Mercedes.
The evidence was overwhelming and, consequently, 12 jurors sentenced Beazley to death. No one, including Beazley, denies that he murdered Mr. Luttig, shot at Mrs. Luttig and stole the car.
The jury's correct conclusion that he committed a felony murder he admits to, Beazley says, was sadly predictable: "The cards were stacked against me already." Evidently the real reason for the jury's verdict was not the heinous murder, but rank prejudice. As Beazley explained: "[The victim] was a prominent businessman. I was at his home, in his area. People were already pissed off. I wasn't too shocked."
It was a touching show of remorse.
The fact that no one claims Beazley is innocent is the only truly shocking development. Preposterous claims of innocence are de rigueur in death penalty cases.