Law Enforcement

Michael Mosley arrested by Nashville police in Clayton Beathard homicide case

Nashville police identified Mosley as a suspect in the stabbings on Sunday after reviewing surveillance footage from the bar. They said the incident began as a verbal argument inside the bar “over an unwanted advancement” made by a man toward a female friend of the victims, police have announced. The dispute moved outside, where Beathard, Trapeni and a friend — a 21-year-old University of Tennessee student who is recovering from eye and arm injuries — were stabbed.

Nashville police have interviewed two of the four people shown in the surveillance video but still are looking to identify and interview one more man. None of the others shown in the video are considered suspects, Nashville police say.

“We are thankful that he is off of the streets. We are sad because two incredible young men are missed,” Casey Beathard, Clayton Beathard’s father and a country music songwriter, told the Tennessean. “The only thing that holds us together is trusting God. We are in awe of all of the good we have already seen him working in and through this tragedy.”

At the time of the slayings, Mosley was free on $5,000 bond over a felony assault charge lodged against him in December 2018, Nashville police announced. Davidson County court records say he punched and kicked a 37-year-old woman at a Walmart in West Nashville. Mosley has past convictions for assault, robbery, car theft and burglary, including one incident in which he stabbed a man and cut a woman in 2015 and received a 3 1/2-year prison sentence.

Felony offender information kept online by the state of Tennessee shows that Mosley was not under judicial supervision at the time of the incident and that his most recent period of incarceration ended on Dec. 5. WSMV reports that Mosley was one of six people charged with instigating a Cheatham County jail riot in March. Surveillance footage showed him stomping on another inmate’s head, the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office alleges.

Don Aaron, spokesman for the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department, was asked how a man who had committed multiple violent acts in the past could be allowed out of prison.

“The police department doesn’t impose punishment, the police department is not in charge of incarceration, the police department is not in charge of sentencing,” he said. “Looking at this man’s past, the police department understands the community’s frustration and we sympathize with the community’s frustration.”

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