Testimony concludes in third day of Michael Mosley trial

Michael Mosley Day 3
Posted at 7:49 AM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 09:42:11-04

The third day of trial for Michael Mosley has concluded, with plans to resume Thursday morning. The prosecution is expected to call its final witness when court resumes at 8:30 a.m.

On Wednesday, witnesses continued to testify about what they saw and heard the night three people were stabbed outside the Dogwood Bar in December 2019.

Mosley is accused of killing Paul Trapeni III and Clay Beathard, and injuring AJ Bethurum in a fight outside the bar just days before Christmas. He's been charged with two counts of criminal homicide and one count of attempted criminal homicide. He's currently serving a 12-year sentence for a 2018 assault.

Learn about the victims here

Prosecutors said Beathard was stabbed in the heart and Bethurum was stabbed in the eye, causing long-term damage. Mosley's attorney Ken Quillen has argued his client was acting in self-defense.

During the second day, the public saw for the first time 12 different videos of the fight, which crossed from one side of Divison Street to the other. Witnesses called on Tuesday described the fight as quick and chaotic.

The state's first witness of the trial was Emma Yoder, a former classmate of the victims. During her testimony, Yoder fought back tears as she relived emotions from that night.

She said a group of friends went to Dogwood to catch up during Christmas break in 2019. Yoder testified that Mosley made several unwelcome advances during their night out, causing some of her male friends to intervene.

She said that once the group and Mosley left the bar, a fight broke out.

"He approached me right before we were leaving the bar. He came over and put his arm around me, and I think whispered something in my ear... and I just turned away," she said.

Wednesday's first witness, Thobie Fauver, was the prosecution's last witness of the day Tuesday, with the defense not finishing its line of questioning before court adjourned. She briefly answered the defense's questions before stepping down.

Next the state called Sam Folks, another former classmate of the victims who was out with the group of friends at the Dogwood Bar. He was the friend who intervened with Yoder said Mosley was hitting on her.

Folks testified that Mosley tried to talk to Yoder again as the bar was closing. The group and Mosley then walked outside, where Folks says Mosley punched him.

Through his questioning, Quillen tried to paint a picture that some of the Battle Ground Academy graduates were intoxicated. Folks testified that he was not drunk. Quillen then asked Folks to describe the height of many of the men in the friend group.

Jaycie Harper, who was at the bar with Mosley that night, was the ninth witness called to the stand. Harper said she believes one of the men who joined Mosley and their group was trying to sell drugs. Mosley's attorney objected to this statement, which led to a sidebar with Judge Angelita Dalton.

Harper then told the jury she tried to push a man off Mosley when the fight broke out. She said she tried to separate the men, but the fight continued to escalate.

"I heard someone beside me, I don't know if it was Daniel or the other guy, but they said they were going to fight," she told the jury.

Wilson McCullough, another BGA graduate, was called as the state's 10th witness. McCullough, who was among the group of friends at the Dogwood Bar, said the fight was a blur because of the alcohol and how he processed the trauma of losing his friends.

"You're all of a sudden coming home for Christmas break, it's a very cheerful time. Then, all of a sudden, you're going to funerals, hanging out at a hospital. It was just unreal, there's no other way to describe," McCullough said.

Next the state called Jacob Asher, head of security for the Dogwood Bar, who told the jury about his efforts to save Trapeni. He said he applied pressure, put him on his side and elevated his legs to try to circulate blood. Asher testified that he heard Trapeni take his last breath.

"I don't know the medical term, but whenever somebody passes away, they give one last breath. It's more of a groan rather than a breath. Whenever I was looking at Paul trying to talk to him, you know, trying to keep his spirits up, he let out that groan," Asher said.

The medical examiner took the stand and showed the bloody clothing and the holes where stab wounds were present.

Afterward, the state called Trapeni's father — Dr. Paul Trapeni Jr.

Trapeni Jr. said his son a week prior hit his knuckles on an overhang at a Titans game inside Nissan Stadium. He explained it happened during a touchdown.

"After it happened, I told him he should have known better than that," Trapeni Jr. said.

The state showed the picture of the knuckle injury to the jury. The defense didn't question his father.

Lynette Mace — a crime scene investigator — went on the stand next.

She took images of Mosley the day he was booked. She noted there weren't injuries to Mosley's face, but a laceration to his right hand between his thumb and index finger.

One of the friends Patrick Wells — who was in the group at the Dogwood Bar — said they were all happy to be together after coming home from semesters at college. He said he didn't hear anyone start any fights and their group left the bar around closing time. He said he didn't drink enough that his memory was impacted from that night.

"I took my time to make sure we were all getting out," Well said. "I was the caboose."

He said when he came out the door of the Dogwood. He described yelling and screaming.

"I looked up and saw a large group of people. It was a tornado of people in the street. I saw Thobie get knocked over. She got her bell rung. I was checking on her, and trying to make sure she was OK. I tried to get her to the side. That same swirl of people moved to the side of the street to the sidewalk. I ran over there, and AJ had been knocked down. I picked him and he wasn't looking OK."

Wells said he didn't see how Bethurum was knocked down.

"I was looking at him, and he had blood coming out of his head. I was trying to understand the extent of that was. He looked discombobulated. It looked bad but not as bad as it was. When I ran out there, they were already going at it. AJ was in a state, from what I remember, that he had been knocked down pretty hard. My friend Campbell came over and talked about what happened."

He said he wasn't able to see the moment Trapeni and Beathard were hurt nor did he see anyone with a weapon. He said he didn't see his friends attempt to have any bodily injury to anyone.

"When I picked up AJ he didn't look right at all," Wells said. "Me and AJ walked across the street, and ran over there to check on Paul and Clay. Clay was on one portion of the sidewalk and Paul was on the corner. There were people huddled around both of them, and it was just one of the worst things that I have ever seen. They were struggling. I was kind of there to see what was going on and what had happened. People were applying pressure to wounds. There were was lots of yelling and people trying to find where the ambulance was. It was a tough situation."

Wells explained this again to the defense, who cross-examined him.

"We weren't doing a competition to see who gets the drunkest," Wells said. "We were celebrating being around each other and having some beers."

"Would you say you overdone it?" Quillen asked.

"I didn't say that at all," Wells said.

David Bates went forward after Wells.

"These people are the most loyal friends you will ever ask for," Bates said.

Bates described his experience the night prior to the fight as nothing but "good times."

"I had seen the punches being thrown and people being shoved," Bates said. "My first instinct was to pull my friends out of the fight if they were in it. Clay was one of the hardest-working people I knew. For him to throw it away on a little fight doesn't make sense to me. I really had no clue the severity of the situation. I had no clue at all that anything had happened until I saw both of their shirts covered in blood. It wasn't the typical pushing and shoving fight. This was a lot more than just that."

Bates said he saw neither of them stabbed and no weapons, saying weapons were the last thing that crossed his mind.

"I remember seeing both of them run over in tandem — one after the other. I remember Paul's shirt looked more bloody. Immediately my focus went to Paul. I did the only thing I knew to help. I called 911. They were directing me. Once they had the location narrowed down, they told me to find any clean rags that I could and put pressure on the wounds. I was standing over both of them. I could tell the severity of the situation wasn't typical."

Bates said neither were able to say anything to him. He said he tried talking to both of them to see if they were responsive.

"The most I could get out of Paul was a little groan.," Bates said. "He couldn't keep his head up. I was just trying to keep them awake and their lives open. I wanted them to fight for their lives as hard they could."

Bates said he didn't realize Bethurum was wounded until he saw him loaded onto a gurney.

"I was very emotional that night, and I wanted to make sure my friends were OK," Bates said.

Mario Rodriguez said he went to the Dogwood Bar with some friends. He said he saw a fight break out, and he heard nothing to warn him there would be a fight.

"I took a step back and watched the whole thing unfold," he said. "I didn't see any weapons."

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.

Person Sought for Questioning.png
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.

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

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.