Monday, October 20, 2008

Infamous Murderers - Tracey Tarlton


Tracey Tarlton, age 51, is incarcerated at the Christina Melton Crain Unit in
Gatesville, Texas, serving a 20 year sentence for the homicide of Steven
Beard. Tartlon shot Steven Beard and although he had appeared to be
recovering from the shooting, he died from a blood clot, a complication
as a result of the shooting.

Tarlton's eligibility date for Parole is February 26, 2011, after serving 10 years
of a 20 year sentence negotiated with prosecutors for her testimony. The
maximum sentence release date listed is: February 2, 2021.

Tracey Tarlton suffered from depression, substance abuse, suicidal tendencies,
and hearing voices telling her to kill herself and she sought treatment. If Celeste
Beard hadn't attended that same treatment center, Tracey Tarlton's life would
have been quite different. Celeste Beard now claims that she and Tartlon were just
friends, although evidence suggests, as Tracey Tarlton has always claimed, that they
were indeed lovers.

But that relationship was toxic for Tarlton. Eight months later she would shoot
a man.

Although manipulated by her friend and lover Celeste Beard, Tracey Tarlton
was the one who took her own gun, raised it and shot Steven Beard. A shot
that eventually caused his death. Tartlon is responsible for her own actions
and unlike Celeste Beard, has admitted her role.

After Steven Beard's death Tracey Tarlton took the blame and protected
Celeste Beard. Beard however had resumed her lifestyle, jettisoning her
lover to her fate and marrying yet again. Tarlton realized that she was to
take the sole blame for the death that her lover Celeste Beard had planned,
the murder of her husband Steven Beard.

Should I be believed because of my mental health ? I don't know about that.
You know? All I know is that I'm telling you the truth.

I did it for Celeste.

My diagnosis is bipolar with psychotic tendencies. I've heard voices in the past,
telling me I needed to kill myself. You know you need to end it. This is the right
thing to do. I have been suicidal many, many years. You know and still am

She (Celeste Beard) often called him disgusting. She thought that he was a
ridiculous, old, fat man. It wasn't just Steven's physical appearance that she
hated. It was the way he treated her. He just emotionally crushed her all the
time, ran her down, and belittled her and berated her and taunted, tortured
her emotionally until it left her in these really depressed suicidal states.

She would become terrified about that (divorce). She would say she couldn't,
that he would hunt her down. She could never get out from under him.Celeste
felt like a prisoner in her own home. She came up with outlandish ways to
knock him out. He drank a lot of vodka, but she would take the vodka bottle
and pour most of it out and fill it up with everclear, which is higher proof
alcohol. Or she would take sleeping pills and grind them up and put them in
his food. This would make Steve pass out early so Celeste could leave. Also,
because of his age, this would help serve as a slow poisoning.

Celeste had me totally convinced that Steven's abuse was going to lead her
to suicide. I wanted to help her. I just saw this woman that I loved in a
desperate situation trying to find a way to survive this man that was so awful.


She had a plan. She wanted me to shoot him at Toro Canyon with my shot gun.
I was willing to shoot him, and I went and did it.

I walked into Steven's room, stood at the foot of his bed, raised my gun and took
aim where I was supposed to take aim and pulled the trigger. What I was thinking
about was Celeste's instructions. I was thinking about Celeste.

I had stepped into a space that was just numb when I went into that bedroom,
and I shot him.

When I started realizing Celeste had been lying to me all along, that this man was
not abusing her, that she had married him for his money, that she had been lying
to me about our relationship, all of it was a farce.

I think she manipulated me from the beginning.
I know what the truth is.

Celeste Beard was audio taped in a conversation to one of her
daughters in which she stated she had hired someone to kill
Tracey Tarlton, to prevent her from testifying.

Kathryn Casey covered the trial in her book "She Wanted
It All: A True Story of Sex, Murder, and a Texas Millionaire

To see other photos and information explore the CMM Forum.