Huntsville man pleads guilty in axe murder of roommate

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A Huntsville man charged with killing his roommate with an axe pleaded guilty Monday to murder shortly before his murder trial was set to begin.

Randal Wayne Beard (Image: Madison County Jail)

Randal Beard, 59, had been charged with capital murder, but entered a guilty plea to murder, said Madison County District Attorney’s Office Chief Trial Attorney Tim Gann.

Beard was given a life sentence.

Beard was arrested in June 2017 after a distress call was made by someone who’d been living in a house on Peel Street with Beard and his roommate.

Prosecutors said when police arrived, Beard was loading his truck with items that belonged to his roommate, Robert Bezotte. Bezotte was found dead inside the house.

The indictment against Beard said he killed Bezotte with a hatchet.

Gann said Bezotte was struck more than 40 times with the short-handled axe. Beard is also accused of trying to steal, guns, methadone, and a safe from Bezotte.

Gann said police were notified via 911 of the incident by two other people who’d lived in the house and fled when they heard the altercation.

Beard was being represented by Huntsville attorneys Larry Marsili and Michael Tewalt.

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