The Trial Begins
January 1, 1970
All goes well with my research for "She Wanted It All." The Celeste Beard trial is underway in Austin, and I'm a fixture in the second row of the gallery, behind the prosecutors and Steven Beard's family.
On February 27, assistant district attorneys Allison Wetzel and Gary Cobb rested for the state of Texas. They've pulled together testimony from 52 witnesses to draw a damning picture of Celeste Beard. Many have testified about her disdain for her husband, her manipulation of her children, and her relationship with Tracey Tarlton.
It's now up to the defense team, headed by legendary Texas attorney Dick DeGuerin, to put on their case and chip away at the state's evidence. They need to convince the jury that there's reasonable doubt that Tracey Tarlton's story is true. On the stand, Tarlton testfied that Celeste not only urged her to kill Steve, but planned and assisted in the shooting.
Courtrooms are nervous places, and this one is even more so with many of Steve's friends in attendance, hoping to see "justice done." Some tell stories of the days after the shooting, when Steve lay in ICU. Celeste told them that she'd been the one to turn Tracey in. Not true. In fact, her teenager daughters and three of their friends have testified that Celeste ordered them, in the early hours after the shooting, not to even mention Tarlton's name to investigators.
From Austin, goodbye for now. Stay safe....