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Michael Mosley sentenced to life in prison for 2019 deadly Midtown stabbings

michael mosley sentencing
Posted at 1:47 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 19:33:33-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Michael Mosley will spend the rest of his life in prison for the deadly 2019 Midtown stabbings.

Mosley was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and assault in March. He is currently serving a 12-year sentence for an unrelated assault.

Judge Angelita Dalton issued a life sentence for each of the murder charges and an additional 40 years for attempted murder. Mosley is to serve each of these sentences consecutively. Additionally, he was given a one-year sentence for assault, however, that sentence may be served concurrently with the others.

In December 2019, Mosley stabbed Paul Trapeni III, Clay Beathard and AJ Bethurum during a fight outside the Dogwood Bar. Trapeni and Beathard died from their injuries and Bethurum lost vision in his left eye. The victims were among a group of former Battle Ground Academy students who met up while home for the holidays. Mosley was accused of making unwanted advancing toward a woman who was friends with the victims while they were inside the Dogwood bar. When the group left, the deadly fight broke out on Division Street around 3 a.m.

Mosley's attorneys argued he acted in self-defense, but a Davidson County jury deliberated for only an hour to convict him.

Last week, the court heard from two family members of the victims and from Mosley himself during his sentencing hearing. A letter submitted by Bethurum was also read aloud.

Attorneys for Mosley say they plan to appeal the conviction.


Timeline of deadly Dogwood Bar stabbings

December 21, 2019
Metro police reported a stabbing in Midtown outside The Dogwood Bar. Two people, identified as 21-year-old Paul Trapeni III and 22-year-old Clayton Beathard, were killed. A third person, 21-year-old AJ Bethurum, was seriously hurt.

Police said the suspect made an unwanted advancement toward a woman who was friends with the victims inside The Dogwood Bar. Around 3 a.m., an argument led to a fight outside the bar on Division Street. During the fight, the three men were stabbed.

Surveillance photos of the suspect were released.

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Metro police released this surveillance photo from The Dogwood Bar.

December 22, 2019
Metro police named 23-year-old Michael Mosley as a person wanted for questioning. Police said Mosley was "strongly believed to have definitive information about the murders."

Later that day, Mosley made contact with police, according to his attorney.

Metro police then officially named Mosley as a suspect in the stabbings.

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Michael D. Mosley

December 23, 2019
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation added Mosley to its Most Wanted list.

December 25, 2019
Mosley was arrested on Christmas Day in Cheatham County on two counts of criminal homicide and one count of attempted criminal homicide.

He surrendered at a vacant home on Petway Road after it was surrounded by law enforcement officers.

January 7, 2020
Mosley made his first court appearance in this case. Witnesses testified that the argument started when Mosley was talking to a woman who was friends with the victims inside the bar.

After the Dogwood closed, investigators told the court Mosley punched a man in the group of friends, which turned the argument physical. Police said within a minute of that punch, the three men were stabbed.

Mosley's attorney at the time told the court his client was acting in self-defense.

During the hearing, the court heard from a friend of Mosley's who was a witness to the assault, AJ Bethurum, who survived the stabbing, and a detective who responded to the stabbing.

The judge found probable cause to send the case to a grand jury. Mosley was continued to be denied bond.

February 10, 2020
Mosley penned a letter to NewsChannel 5's Nick Beres, stating he acted in self-defense.

Read the full letter here.

Mosley wrote that he feels he's already been convicted by public opinion.

November 15, 2021
Mosley and his attorney made an offer to plead guilty to a lesser charge, but the deal was rejected by prosecutors.

March 28, 2022
The trial for Mosley begins with opening statements and Judge Angelita Dalton presiding.

March 31, 2022
A Davidson County jury found Mosley guilty on two counts of criminal homicide, one count of attempted criminal homicide and one count of assault.


Michael Mosley's Criminal History

Prior to the fight outside the Dogwood Bar, Mosley has been involved in other assault cases.

Back in 2015, police say Mosley was charged in another stabbing incident. Records show he was charged with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon stemming from an argument about a toddler.

In December 2018, police said he entered a Walmart on Charlotte Pike, walked up to a woman and began violently assaulting her — including punching and kicking her and dragging her across the floor. Police said he was free on bond from this crime when the 2019 stabbing happened.

In October 2021, Mosley was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the Nashville Walmart assault. He was convicted of criminal attempt to commit aggravated assault.

Mosley was allegedly involved in a jail riot in Cheatham County. He was one of six people charged with instigating the riot in March 2019.


The Victims

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Clayton Beathard and Paul Trapeni III (pictured left to right)

Clayton Beathard, Paul Trapeni III and AJ Bethurum were all 2016 graduates of Battle Ground Academy in Franklin. A group of BGA graduates had gathered in Midtown Nashville to catch up over their Christmas break hours before the stabbings.

While at BGA, Beathard was a standout football player — named Tennessee's Division II Class A Mr. Football in 2014. After graduation, Beathard went on to play football at several colleges, most recently at Long Island University.

Beathard was the brother of NFL quarterback CJ Beathard and grandson of NFL Hall of Famer Bobby Beathard. His father, Casey Beathard, is a Grammy-nominated country music songwriter.

Trapeni attended Rhodes College in Memphis.

Bethurum, who survived the attack, was a student at the University of Tennessee Knoxville when the stabbings occurred.