Fair Trial For

Celeste Beard Johnson

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"Even the mighty oak was yesterday's acorn that stood it's ground"


The Trial

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     Since Celeste hired Dick DeGuerin in October, 2002, as her Defense attorney, he had less than five months to prepare for a drawn-out, high-profile, Capital Murder charge.  All requests by him for more time to prepare were denied by Judge Julie Kocurek.  Not long before the actual trial started, ADA Bill Mange abruptly left the DA's office and went into
private practice as a Board Certified Criminal defense attorney.  Then after Celeste's arrest, Mr. Mange solicited Celeste, offering to represent her on another Conspiracy to Commit Capital Murder charge.  Steven Beard's murder trial would have been the high point of Mr.
Mange's career.  Celeste believes he was forced to leave the DA's office because he actually had knowledge that the twins and their boyfriends were lying, and had tampered with the "so-called" evidence.  Since the D.A. was not playing it straight, Celeste never had a chance.


 Letter from Bill Mange's Office


 During the trial, the teenagers testified that the letters that were unsigned were printed from Celeste's computer.  The Judge allowed them to be admitted as evidence against Celeste.  The teenagers made audio tapes that were misleading since they did not contain the entire conversations and were obviously edited.  Douglas L. Morrison (Director, Instructor, Audio Engineering, Dallas Sound Lab) gave an impressive testimony on the electronic editing of these tapes. 


Doug Morrison Testimony


The Court allowed these to be admitted into evidence because the Judge said, "She's (Kristina) familiar with all of the voices that are on this tape.  This is the original tape (because Kristina says it is) and the court is satisfied that this tape has been properly authenticated and
that it is what the proponent claims it to be.  It will be overruled."   The Judge allowed the tape to be entered into evidence even with Kristina's own testimony that she cut part of the conversation out of the tape.

  Kristina Testimony    



The State called the twins as witnesses against their mother.  The teenagers claimed that Steven was unknowingly drinking Everclear because they said Celeste poured out his vodka and substituted it with Everclear.  Twin Liquors was identified by the teenagers, but records of that liquor store or any liquor stores were not allowed as evidence to support Celeste's claim of innocence.  Tarlton even testified that she took Kristina to buy Everclear, but Kristina denied that ever happened.  


Tarlton Testimony    Kristina Testimony 


The teenagers also testified that Celeste consistently tainted Steven's food by hiding sleeping pills in it.  The Beard pharmacist disputed this with her records of the family's medication purchases.


 Beard Pharmacist Testimony  


The teenagers testified that most of the "evidence" they gave to the DA was retrieved from Celeste's trash. Celeste never authorized any "throw away" of personal papers, bank statements, or journals. 
Why weren't these items found by the police during their extensive search?  Celeste never gave the teenagers permission to rifle through her papers and computers.  

Justin Grimm Testimony 

The twins said it was "the family" computer (it wasn't because it was in Celeste's and Steven's office in their wing of the home); so why didn't they take the computer to the DA to prove their claims?  The teens each had their own laptop and PC in their bedroom, specifically to keep them off of Celeste's computer. 

Beard Handyman Testimony  


The twins and Tarlton testified that Celeste was also poisoning Steven with botulism prior to the October,1999, shooting.  This makes no sense because Steven was a Gourmand and insisted on preparing all of his own meals.  He definitely would have noticed if his food had been tainted or laced with botulism.  The Judge allowed the prosecution to admit into
evidence a book that had a recipe for botulism, copyright dated 2000, because Tarlton said, "it was LIKE the one she supposedly sold to Celeste."  The book admitted was copyright dated after the date of the shooting.  Again, there were no receipts or medical testimony to
corroborate their claims. 


Poisoner's Handbook