A Rowlett man who allegedly gunned down his ex-girlfriend in the midst of a bitter custody dispute has been charged with possessing an unlicensed firearm silencer, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Andrew Charles Beard, 33, was charged via criminal complaint. He was arrested Thursday afternoon and made his initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Renee Toliver Friday morning.
“Given the brutality of his alleged crimes, it’s unthinkable that Mr. Beard bonded out of county jail,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “I am proud that our federal law enforcement partners acted quickly so that we could file federal charges. It is our fervent hope that justice will be swift, and that Mr. Beard will be kept behind bars — state or federal — before he can inflict more harm.”
“ATF is steadfast in its pursuit of domestic abusers in possession of firearms illegally. Mr. Beard will now face the full force of the United States Justice Department and all of its law enforcement partners,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Division Jeffrey C. Boshek II.
According to the complaint, Mr. Beard allegedly attacked his ex-girlfriend, Alyssa Burkett, outside her office on Oct. 2. Ms. Burkett, who was found with multiple stab wound to her torso and a possible gunshot wound to the head, died at the scene.
A coworker, identified in the complaint by the initials “M.J.,” told officers she’d observed a black-clad man climb out of a truck and take aim at the victim.
Ms. Burkett’s friends and family informed officers that she and Mr. Beard were involved in an acrimonious dispute over the custody of their child. Two days prior to the shooting, records show, a judge awarded custody of the child to Ms. Burkett.
Ms. Burkett’s mother, “T.C.,” and her boyfriend, “B.E.,” told officers that Ms. Burkett feared Mr. Beard would kill her. B.E. said Mr. Beard was “overly obsessed” with the victim and their child. Her coworker, “M.J.,” reiterated the same concern, adding that Ms. Burkett was worried she was being tracked by Mr. Beard, who always seemed to know her location.
After the murder, investigators recovered a black Spy Bot box and tracking device underneath Ms. Burkett’s vehicle. They found a similar tracking device on her boyfriend’s vehicle.
During a search of Mr. Beard’s residence, investigators found a matching Spy Bot battery and a third tracking device in the upstairs loft. They also uncovered a .22 caliber revolver and a homemade gun silencer zipped into a baggie inside a toolbox in the garage. (Detectives believed the silencer was homemade because the threaded portion that would attach to the barrel and the muzzle end of the silencer were off center.)
An ATF analysis revealed that the metal cylinder, which included an expansion chamber, met the federal definition of a firearm silencer.
A search of the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR) did not pull up any silencers registered to Mr. Beard, and the homemade silencer recovered from Mr. Beard’s home lacked the serial number required for registration.
Federal law prohibits possession of an unregistered silencer, defined as any device designed to silence, muffle, or diminish the report of a potable firearm.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation of wrongdoing, not evidence. Like all defendants, Mr. Beard is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
Following his ex-girlfriend’s death, Mr. Beard was charged by the state with murder. Last week, he was released from Dallas County Jail on $1 million bond. He was taken into federal custody on Thursday afternoon, and prosecutors will seek federal detention.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office, and the Carrollton Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gary Tromblay and Keith Robinson are prosecuting the case.
The case was brought under Project Guardian, the Justice Department’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence using federal firearm laws.