Paul Beard found guilty on lesser charges


ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – A jury convicted Paul Beard in connection to his daughter’s death on Friday, but found him guilty of lesser charges than the state was pursuing.

According to Carter County Criminal Court records, the jury found Beard guilty of two counts of criminally negligent homicide rather than the first-degree murder charges filed against him in 2021.

The two charges differ when it comes to sentencing in Tennessee. According to state law (as provided by Justia), Beard could have faced life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder. Instead, state law outlines criminally negligent homicide as a Class E felony with variable sentencing that could range from 1 to 6 years according to state code.

Beard was taken to the Carter County Jail on Friday after Judge Stacy Street revoked his bond, and Beard is set to remain there as he awaits his sentencing hearing at 9 a.m. on Dec. 14.

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