Capital murder trial begins for Arlington man accused of stomping child's stomach

The capital murder trial for Joshua Beard of Arlington began Tuesday morning in Fort Worth. Beard, 24, is accused of beating and stomping to death his girlfriend's 18-month-old daughter in 2014.
The capital murder trial for Joshua Beard of Arlington began Tuesday morning in Fort Worth. Beard, 24, is accused of beating and stomping to death his girlfriend's 18-month-old daughter in 2014.

Tylea Moore was an 18-month-old bundle of joy for Alexis Botello in 2014.

But Botello's boyfriend, Joshua Beard, called the toddler a "little demon," according to an arrest warrant.

That warrant was issued in July 2014 just hours after Tylea was beaten and stomped in an Arlington home and then her body, clad in a diaper and wrapped in a blanket, was buried under a bridge near Springtown.

Beard was charged with capital murder, as was Botello, who was 17 at the time. Botello also faces a charge of tampering with evidence.

Alexis Botello.jpg
Alexis Botello, 20, of Weatherford Tarrant County Jail

On Tuesday morning, testimony began in Beard's capital murder trial in Criminal District Court No. 2.

Prosecutors have waived the death penalty for Beard, 24.

The warrant gave this brief account of the killing:

The couple were at their home in the 2200 block of Polo Club Court in Arlington when Beard began pushing and yelling at Tylea, Botello said. The mother screamed at him, but Beard kept hitting Tylea, leaving the toddler with bruises all over her body. The child also had bite marks on her body.

Beard picked up Tylea, whom he called the “little demon,” and threw her so hard on a bed that she bounced off and landed on the floor, where Beard repeatedly stomped on her stomach.

Eventually, Tylea stopped breathing and the couple tried CPR, but she died.

Botello told detectives that Beard put Tylea’s body in her car trunk and they drove to Parker County to bury the child. They stopped at a Wal-Mart in Weatherford and bought gloves and two shovels.

They found a remote area in the 1900 block of Sarra Lane near Springtown and dug a grave under a bridge. The couple buried the child in a diaper and wrapped her in a blue blanket. Beard put some logs and rocks on the dirt over the grave, and the couple left the two shovels near the bridge.

Afterward, for reasons not clear, they rented a room at the Extended Stay motel in the 1900 block of West Pleasant Ridge Road in Arlington. The room was registered to Beard.

Beard was arrested hours later on drug charges and traffic violations.

From jail, he repeatedly tried to call Botello. He contacted his aunt Trina McKenzie, who went to the motel and found her.

When McKenzie asked Botello where Tylea was, Botello said the child was with her grandmother — Botello’s mother. But McKenzie told investigators that the Angela Botello said she had not seen the child in over a month.

On July 6, 2014, Arlington police were called to the hotel to investigate a report of a missing child. After initially saying that she hadn’t seen her daughter in two days, Botello told investigators that her boyfriend had killed the child but that “he said he didn’t mean to do it.”

Ricardo Botello of San Antonio, Alexis’ father, told the Star-Telegram in a 2014 phone interview he talked to his daughter on the night of July 6, 2014, and she didn't say much.

“I asked her what happened and where was Tylea,” Ricardo Botello said in a phone interview. “At first, she said she hadn’t seen the baby in a while, then two days. What mother doesn’t know when she last saw her baby?”

Ricardo Botello said his daughter and Beard began living in Arlington after she graduated from Weatherford High School.

“I hadn’t talked to them in a while because I wasn’t happy with their situation,” Ricardo Botello said.

Beard was not Tylea’s father. The father, a U.S. Marine, returned to Texas shortly after his daughter's death.

The trial for Alexis Botello is pending.

This report includes information from Star-Telegram archives.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763,@mingoramirezjr
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