Thursday, 18 Apr 2024

Man Sentenced to Life in Prison For Killing of Camper in California

A man convicted of fatally shooting a scientist camping in a California state park with his two children in 2018 was sentenced to life in prison for the murder and other charges, the authorities said.

In the Superior Court of Los Angeles County on Wednesday, Judge Eleanor J. Hunter sentenced Anthony Rauda, now 46, to 119 years to life in prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

Mr. Rauda was arrested in October 2018 for shooting Tristan Beaudette, 35, in a tent where he had been camping with his children, who were 2 and 4 years old at the time, at Malibu Creek State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains outside Los Angeles. Mr. Beaudette was a research scientist at a large pharmaceutical company in nearby Orange County.

In May, Mr. Rauda was convicted of one count of second-degree murder, the district attorney’s office said, and two counts of attempted murder, even though Mr. Beaudette’s two children were not harmed.

He was also convicted of several separate burglary charges and another separate charge of attempted murder, according to the district attorney’s office. On the attempted murder charge, Mr. Rauda had shot at a car on Las Virgenes Road, a major thoroughfare that forms part of the park’s eastern border, but no one was injured. He shot Mr. Beaudette four days later, prosecutors said.

Nicholas Okorocha, an attorney for Mr. Rauda, said in an emailed statement on Thursday that testimony was heard from 45 witnesses during the three-week trial, and that the verdicts “indicate that they were meticulous in their analysis of the evidence.”

Mr. Okorocha said he has filed paperwork to begin the appeal process.

He added that he appreciated the “deeply moving” victim impact statement from Mr. Beaudette’s widow, Erica Wu, according to reporting by The Associated Press.

Mr. Rauda was acquitted of seven other counts of attempted murder that appeared to have been part of several shootings in and around the park starting in November 2016, the district attorney’s office said.

Mr. Rauda was a felon and on parole at the time of the attacks, and local media referred to him as the “Malibu Sniper.”

In the days after Mr. Beaudette’s death, the park was closed while the authorities investigated whether his killing was related to other shootings in the area, none of which resulted in fatalities.

The Associated Press reported in 2018 that Mr. Rauda was arrested after deputies saw him on a ridge, dressed in black and with a rifle sticking out of his backpack. They had been searching the area for an armed burglar who had stolen food from nearby homes and businesses.

Christine Hauser is a reporter, covering national and foreign news. Her previous jobs in the newsroom include stints in Business covering financial markets and on the Metro desk in the police bureau. @ChristineNYT

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