Nashville stabbing suspect says he offered to plead guilty to lesser charge, but prosecutors rejected it

Trial delayed until January
Posted at 10:54 AM, Nov 15, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A triple stabbing left two young men dead and one seriously injured outside a popular Nashville bar just before Christmas. A suspect was taken into custody. The question: Was it self-defense?

Nearly two years later, the suspect — Michael Mosley — was set to go to trial Monday, but now a last-second delay.

There is a potential issue regarding Mosley and his lawyer. Mosley also made an offer to plead guilty — an offer that was promptly rejected by prosecutors.

There will be no plea deal.

They are moving forward with the case on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for what happened outside the Dogwood Bar in Nashville.

But, the trial is delayed.

The 25-year-old Mosley is accused of stabbing Paul Trapeni III and Clay Beathard to death and injuring A.J. Bethurum outside the Dogwood Bar just four days before Christmas, 2019.

The story made national headlines as Beathard's brother, C.J., is an NFL quarterback.

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

Metro police say it all started with a dispute inside a bar — possibly over a woman — and then continued out front.

A jury will decide if it was murder or self-defense.

"There is absolutely nothing that Clay Beathard, Paul Trapeni and A.J. did to bring this on themselves," said assistant District Attorney Jan Norman at a hearing last year.

Prosecutors says Mosley started the fight and ended it with a triple stabbing.

The incident was caught on security video, which will be the key piece of evidence at trial.

Justin Johnson — who initially represented Mosley, but is not longer on the case — reviewed the video.

He says it will prove Mosley was protecting himself from three much larger men.

"A person has a right to defend themselves if in danger of serious injury or death," said Johnson last year.

Even so, Mosley has now offered to plead guilty.

In a recent letter to NewsChannel 5, he wrote that he "offered the DAs a settlement on the homicide case for voluntary manslaughter."

He added he did so "out of sympathy for the victims' families... not to endure the pain of a trial."

Prosecutors promptly rejected the offer, instead seeking first-degree murder convictions and a lengthy sentence.

"In every case, there was at least some discussions, but some are so horrendous we put our effort into incapacitating an individual as long as possible," said District Attorney Glenn Funk.

If convicted, Mosley faces life in prison.

He is already serving 12 years for a crime that very well could come up at his murder trial.

Mosley was recently convicted of an aggravated assault. The dramatic video shows him going after a woman — whom he knew and had a grievance with — in a Nashville Walmart.

After stalking her, Mosley attacks, knocking the woman to the floor — beating her, and police say stabbing her in the eye with a key.

If Mosley's attorney decides to argue his client is not violent and was simply defending himself at the Dogwood Bar, then that attack video could become an exhibit at the murder trial.

The original trial date, which was scheduled for this week, is now reset for January of next year.

One reason appears to be that Mosley is not satisfied with his current lawyer, who replaced Justin Johnson his first attorney.

That issue still needs to be resolved.

More stories:

Stabbing suspect in double murder sentenced to prison in other case

Nashville stabbing suspect Michael Mosley pens letter, comments about criminal case

Michael Mosley's attorney says video proves he acted in self-defense