Wednesday, November 24, 1999

Boyfriend sent to prison in murder

Enquirer Contributor

        LEBANON — Friends of Andrew Beckman and Brandy Southworth quietly wept Tuesday as Judge Neal Bronson of Warren County Common Pleas Court sentenced Mr. Beckman to 20-years-to-life in prison for murdering his ex-girlfriend.

        The judge convicted Mr. Beckman of aggravated murder about 30 minutes after a two-day, non-jury trial concluded. Mr. Beckman fatally stabbed Ms. Southworth, the mother of his infant son, in Morrow last July.

        Mr. Beckman, 21, stood and showed little emotion as the sentence was handed down.

        “I would like to see that he never gets out,” Peggy Buschur, Ms. Southworth's mother, told the judge.

        During the trial, several friends of Ms. Southworth and Mr. Beckman said that Ms. Southworth was becoming afraid of her ex-boyfriend, that she urged him to provide for his son, and that he was becoming abusive.

        The killing occurred less than three weeks after a judge ordered Mr. Beckman into a domestic abusers program for beating the woman in May.

        During closing arguments, prosecutors argued that Mr. Beckman intended to kill Ms. Southworth and brought a carving knife to the Morrow house where she was staying.

        Defense attorney Charlie Rittgers contended that while Mr. Beckman did kill Ms. Southworth, it was not calculated.

        “The entire series of events is sad for both the victim's family and Mr. Beckman and his family,” Mr. Rittgers said. “I'm sure he wishes he could turn back the clock and (this) didn't happen.”

        Ms. Southworth, whose own father died when she was young, wanted Mr. Beckman to be a part of their child's life, said Lori Southworth, her sister.“She thought she could change him.”

        Mrs. Buschur said Brandy Southworth's child, Mogan Beckman, now about 10 months old, is in the Southworths' custody.

        The family is committed to raising him.

        “He's all that we have left of her,” said Tammy Nichols, another sister of Ms. Southworth. “He's going to know Brandy.”


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