Man charged in Huntsville axe murder set for January 13 trial

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A Huntsville man will go on trial in mid- January on a capital murder charge involving an axe.

The case of Randal Beard is set for a January 13 trial.

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

Prosecutors say 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 says he killed Bezotte with a hatchet.

Madison County District Attorney's office Chief Trial Attorney Tim Gann says 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 says 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 is charged with capital murder. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty in the case. If Beard is convicted of capital murder he would be automatically sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors notified the court last week if Beard testifies, they intend to cite six other theft and burglary convictions he has on his record.

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

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