NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Court TV) — A jury has found Michael Mosley guilty of all charges in a deadly 2019 bar fight in Nashville. Mosley is scheduled to be sentenced on two counts of first-degree premeditated murder on May 26, 2022. He faces a possible life sentence, which is 60 years in Tennessee before parole eligibility. Mosley was also convicted of criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder and assault.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Court TV) — Michael Mosley is accused of murdering two men and injuring two others outside a Nashville bar on Dec. 21, 2019.
According to investigators, a fight over a woman at the Dogwood Bar spilled outside and ended with the deaths of 22-year-old Clayton Beathard and 21-year-old Paul Trapeni III.
Mosley, who was arrested on Christmas Day, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder and assault. Prosecutors say the defendant has a lengthy criminal history that includes assault and armed robbery, among other offenses.
At the time of the incident, Mosley was free on bond, facing criminal charges in connection with an attack on a woman at a local Walmart. He has since been convicted of criminal attempt to commit aggravated assault.
Mosley’s defense attorney says his criminal past should not play a role in the murder case against him, and believes video evidence will prove that his client was simply defending himself.
DAILY TRIAL HIGHIGHTS
DAY 4 – 3/31/22
- A Tennessee jury deliberated for about an hour before convicting Michael Mosley of murder and other charges for a 2019 brawl outside a Nashville bar that left two college students dead and another partially blind
- The foreperson — a middle-aged mother of five — fought back tears as she read aloud the verdicts
- Mosley, 25, was convicted of first-degree murder for the stabbing deaths of friends Clay Beathard and Paul Trapeni. He was also found guilty of attempted murder for stabbing Alva Bethurum in the eye and one count of assault for punching Sam Folks, another friend of the victims
- Mosley is scheduled to be sentenced on counts one and two on May 26. He faces a possible life sentence, which is 60 years in Tennessee before parole eligibility. In addition to fixing a sentence, Judge Angelita Dalton will decide if Mosley will serve his sentence in this case consecutively or concurrently to his sentence in another case
- Bethurum was the last witness jurors heard from before prosecutors rested Thursday morning and both sides delivered closing arguments
- Mosley declined to testify, and the defense called no witnesses
- Bethurum said he came upon the brawl in progress outside the Dogwood bar and saw his friend, Thobie Fauber, being shoved to the ground. He said he joined the fray to defend his friends as they exchanged blows with Mosley’s crew. Unlike other witnesses, Bethurum said he never saw Mosley, not even when Mosley stabbed him in the eye and the elbow
- Muffled sobs broke out on both sides of the courtroom from the families of the defendant and the victims. They declined to comment as they left the courthouse
- The defense said Mosley was defending himself from an imposing group of drunk college athletes who came after him after he tried to flirt with one of their friends. Lawyer Ken Quillen pointed out that no one saw Mosley stab the victims
- Prosecutors said Mosley alone chose violence by throwing the first punch and then escalating a fistfight into a deadly brawl by pulling out a knife and using it repeatedly, making choices with each action.
- WATCH: 3/31/22 Bar Fight Murder Trial: Michael Mosley Guilty of All Charges
- WATCH: 3/31/22 Bar Fight Murder Trial: Prosecutors Talk to Court TV After Verdict
- WATCH: 3/31/22 Bar Fight Murder Trial: Prosecution Delivers Rebuttal Closing Argument
- WATCH: 3/31/22 Bar Fight Murder Trial: Defense Closing Argument
- WATCH: 3/31/22 Bar Fight Murder Trial: Stabbing Survivor Recalls Incident
DAY 3 – 3/30/22
- Prosecutors call 17 witnesses, a mix of bystanders, crime scene investigators, a security guard and a medical examiner.
- Through the bystander testimony, prosecutors home in on the absence of weapons on anyone other than Mosley to suggest Mosley responded with disproportionate force with a knife
- The defendant’s friend, Jaycie Harper, turns out to be a difficult yet critical state witness as she resists questions about whether the defendant was helping Sergio Alvarado (Papi/Poppy) sell drugs at the bar and suggests Mosley was defending himself
- Harper is declared an adverse witness during questioning about how many people she saw Mosley attack
- Wilson McCullough testifies that he has no independent memory of most of the night, including critical moments that were caught on camera of him talking to Mosley and later swinging at him
- Alleged victim Sam Folks, the basis for count 4, testifies that he tried to ward Mosley off Emma Yoder by claiming to be her boyfriend, but he insists that he didn’t antagonize Mosley
- Defense tries to cast doubt on the accounts of the victims’ friends by pointing out moments on camera in which they appear to be inebriated or horsing around
- Another defense theme: Mosley was overpowered and outnumbered by the group of strapping college athletes
- WATCH: 3/30/22 Bar Fight Murder Trial: Day 3
- WATCH: 3/30/22 Bar Fight Murder Trial: Witness and Defendant’s Friend Talks to Court TV
DAY 2 – 3/29/22
- Jurors heard eyewitness accounts and viewed hours of video Tuesday as prosecutors tried to portray Michael Mosley as the instigator of a deadly barfight who threw the first punch and then pulled a knife without warning
- Prosecutors called three eyewitnesses Tuesday from both sides of the chaotic bar fight. Emma Yoder and Thobie Fauber were friends of the victims from Battle Ground Academy (BGA) who got together for an informal high school class reunion over the December break. The other, Daniel Sevilla, described Mosley as an acquaintance from west Nashville who he met at a nightclub earlier that evening
- Their paths crossed the morning of December 21, 2019, when Mosley by all accounts tried to hit on Yoder at the Dogwood bar. Mosley’s defense claims a member of the BGA friend group goaded Mosley into hitting on Yoder as a prank. Yoder rejected the suggestion that her ex-boyfriend, Wilson McCullough, would play a joke on her like that. She and Fauber testified that they made it clear that Yoder was not interested in Mosley, but Mosley was “relentless,” in Fauber’s words. Yoder said their friend, Sam Folks, finally intervened, telling Mosley he was Yoder’s girlfriend. The defense replayed video from inside the bar numerous times, highlighting interactions between Mosley and McCullough and the rest of the BGA group
- Sevilla testified that Mosley simply approached a solo woman, only to be confronted by a man who started an “altercation.” As the crowd spilled outside the bar, the jury saw numerous clips of Mosley punching Folks before others joined the melee and the crowd moved across the street where Mosley fatally stabbed Clay Beathard and Paul Trapeni
- Prosecutors also called David Hangley, a Dogwood security guard who described the mood in the bar as calm before patrons cleared out. As he saw the fight break out outside the bar, he said he chalked it up to roughhousing and compared it to a mosh pit until he saw the victims fall in the street a few moments later
- The defense focused on moments suggesting the defendant and his group were overpowered, driving Mosley to use deadly force. The defense focused on moments before the stabbing, when Beathard punched Mosley to the ground and shoved Mosley’s friend, Jaycee Harper
DAY 1 – 3/28/22
- A jury of nine women and five men was chosen to hear the case after lawyers questioned them about their views on self-defense, premeditation and deadly force
- Both sides delivered opened statements before packed rows on one side of the courtroom of the victims’ families and supporters and three relatives of the defendant on the other
- Assistant District Attorney General Jan Norman: 25 minutes
- Defense lawyer Kenneth Quillen speaks: 12 minutes
Court TV field producer Emanuella Grinberg contributed to this report.