Clayton Beathard stabbing: Survivor details how reunion ended with brawl
NASHVILLE — A group of old high school friends met at a Midtown bar over Christmas break to catch up on new beginnings on the horizon for each of them: college graduations, grad school and new jobs.
In a matter of seconds, the light-hearted gathering became a bloody terror.
A fight spilled into the street at closing time. Punches were thrown. Then three of the old friends were stabbed.
Two of them died. The surviving victim, who lost most of the vision in his left eye, took the stand in court Tuesday to describe the Dec. 21 attack.
That victim, identified in court as "AJ," said he was waiting for an Uber outside The Dogwood when he looked over to see a crowd of people brawling.
He saw a woman get pushed to the ground and ran to help. He punched the man standing over her, and instantly he felt a sharp pain on the side of his face.
He crumbled to the ground as his vision went black. Then he heard someone scream that his friend Clayton had been stabbed.
The surviving victim ran to help his dying friend, who was lying in the street, his shirt stained a deep red. Then a bouncer from the bar saw his face.
“Bro, you got stabbed, too,” he remembers the bouncer saying. “You’re bleeding a lot.”
Police identified Michael D. Mosley, 23, as the attacker and charged him with criminal homicide. Investigators said the fight started at about 3 a.m., after Mosley made advances toward a woman with the group of friends.
The fight went from bad-mouthing to physical fast, while throngs of patrons filed out of the bar.
Mosley threw the first punch, according to surveillance footage from the area. Members of the group fought back.
Video shows punches going back and forth. At some point, Mosley appeared to hit Clayton Beathard, 22, and Paul Trapeni III, 21, in the chest. Blood was visible on their shirts afterward.
And then it was over.
Detective Zachariah Bevis said the physical fight erupted and ended within 60 seconds.
Mosley fled the scene with his friends. He was apprehended days later in Cheatham County — police have not recovered a knife.
The surviving victim was stabbed in the left eye and arm.
All three victims were graduates of Battle Ground Academy, an independent K-12 college preparatory school in Franklin.
Mosley’s close friend, who was with him at the bar, said she believed he was there that night to help another man sell drugs.
At the hearing Tuesday, Mosley’s attorney Justin Johnson said his client acted in self defense after being approached by a large group of men throwing punches. Speaking to the judge, Johnson said each of the victims had approached Mosley first.
“They are the ones that, and I hate to say it, brought it on themselves,” Johnson said.
But prosecutors say Mosley was the only one with a weapon, that he started the fight and that he should be held responsible for the deadly bloodshed.
“Mr. Mosley started this fight that ended in two people being murdered,” said prosecutor Jan Norman.
“He stabs him through the front of the heart and it goes all the way through," Norman said, describing Beathard's wound. "And he doesn’t stop there. ...
“This is Mr. Mosley. Mr. Mosley brought this on these victims.”
General Sessions Judge Melissa Blackburn said the prosecution’s evidence was strong enough to move the case forward. She sent it to the grand jury for further consideration.
Mosley watched quietly from the defense table in an orange jail jumpsuit.
Beathard was the brother of NFL quarterback C.J. Beathard of the San Francisco 49ers and country musician Tucker Beathard, son of country music songwriter Casey Beathard, and grandson of NFL executive Bobby Beathard.
Trapeni was a student at Rhodes College, according to a Facebook post by the school's student government group. His father, Dr. Paul D. Trapeni Jr., is an optometrist in Smyrna.
Reach Adam Tamburin at 615-726-5986 and email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @tamburintweets.