Trial for Michael Mosley continues Tuesday with witness testimony

Michael Mosley day 2
Posted at 7:28 AM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 08:17:20-04

The first day of testimony ended on Tuesday in the trial for Michael Mosley — a man accused of killing two and injuring another in a December 2019 stabbing.

One witness is scheduled to return for questioning Wednesday morning at the start of court at 8:30 a.m.

Mosley is facing two counts of criminal homicide and one count of attempted criminal homicide. He's currently serving a 12-year sentence for a 2018 assault.

Paul Trapeni III and Clayton Beathard were killed in the stabbing outside the Dogwood Bar on Division Street. AJ Bethurum was also stabbed, causing long-term damage to his eye.

In opening statements on Monday, attorneys from the prosecution and defense said the jury can expect to hear how the night unfolded at the Dogwood Bar from late December 20 into December 21.

Many of the victims' families present in the courtroom were emotional as the statements were delivered.

Both attorneys said the jury will hear from multiple witnesses who watched the fight break out on the sidewalk in front of the bar. The bulk of the group were out together as former classmates from Battle Ground Academy in Franklin. Dispatchers received the initial call the Saturday before Christmas 2019 at 2:52 a.m.

State calls its first witness

Court began Tuesday morning with the state's first witness, Emma Yoder.

Yoder is also a graduate of BGA who was among the group of friends catching up together the night of the stabbings. She spoke about how the group of friends were meeting up while on break from college, starting at a friend's house and eventually ending at bars in Midtown.

Yoder said she first encountered Mosley at the Dogwood, where he asked to buy her a drink but she declined. Yoder told the jury that while she was on the dance floor, Mosley put his hands on her hips and she pushed him off. She said as they were leaving the bar, Mosley put an arm around her and whispered in her ear. Her friend Sam saw this happen, and intervened by claiming to be her boyfriend in an effort to get Mosley to leave her alone.

Shortly after this, a fight broke out.

"It was just chaos in a circle," Yoder said.

Yoder began to cry as she detailed seeing blood everywhere and seeing Bethurum in an ambulance clutching his eye.

The prosecution then showed the jury video from outside the bar. This surveillance video had not been publicly released. In the video, the group was seen playing a game around a table. Next, the prosecution showed video of the fight on the street.

Mosley's defense attorney then began questioning Yoder. He showed a photo of Mosley in a chokehold. The defense is arguing Mosley acted in self-defense.

Court took a short break after Yoder's testimony. When it resumed, the state called Daniel Sevilla, who came with Mosley to the bar. Sevilla said they were acquaintances.

Sevilla testified that he and Mosley left the bar and walked to his car, but Mosley ended up not leaving with him.

Next the state called Dave Hangley, who is a security guard at the Dogwood Bar. Hangley testified that he saw one man run toward the nearby Chuy's restaurant. He also saw a person on the ground, so he asked a coworker to call 911.

Hangley said he tried to help Beathard by applying pressure to his wound. Another coworker attempted to help Trapeni.

Jason Terry, an employee with the Metro Nashville Police Department, was called as the state's fourth witness. He works within MNPD's crime scene investigation unit. Terry investigated the scene of the stabbing.

After lunch, Patrol Sargent Zachariah Beavis took the stand as the lead detective on the case in 2019. When he arrived on scene, he met up with a CSI officer documenting the scene and learned that one of his partners was at the hospital with the victims.

"We noted where several surveillance cameras were," Beavis said. "We found blood spots in the roadway and sidewalks. We found no weapon."

Beavis described the incident while the jury watched 12 videos where the men were stabbed. Mosley was seen jumping around and Beathard pushed down Mosley. Mosley lunged toward Beathard and stabbed him in his heart. He then stabbed Trapeni.

"Clay reminded me of a player limping to the sideline in a football game," Beavis said.

The prosecution played cell phone video with Beathard walking across the street with his shirt soaked with blood. Beathard then leans over and collapsed.

Beavis said Mosley broke free from the fight, fixed his hair and ran back toward the crowd. He was confronted by Beathard and one of the group intervened. Mosley then lunged toward Trapeni and Bethurum. Mosley then fixed his hair again and walked away, Beavis said.

Beathard had one stab wound to his heart, and Trapeni had a stab wound to his heart and lower left back.

Beavis described how he found Mosley and called a SWAT team to help find him in Cheatham County.

"We surrounded the house and was able to call him out," Beavis said. "He showed his hands through the front blinds and eventually walked out. He was smoking a cigar and wearing a sleeveless shirt."

Beavis did a follow-up interview with Bethurum.

"We reviewed his statements, and we showed him video," Beavis said. "I wanted to understand everything as we saw it."

Defense attorney Quillen said he found footage where some of the group with Beathard and Bethurum talked to Mosley before the fight and gestured toward Yoder.

Mosley then followed Yoder and put his arm around her shoulder and the group then reengaged with Yoder.

Quillen kept asking Beavis questions to suggest that Mosley was acting in self-defense, with Quillen saying Mosley was sucker-punched when the fight crossed the street from the Dogwood Bar.

Thobie Fauver described the night started at a friend's house and then to another bar for 15 minutes. Fauber said the entire night she had three drinks, and it didn't inhibit her memories.

"We basically spent the whole night together," Fauver said. "We just wanted to be together and have a good time. There was a long table we were at for a while."

Fauver described Beathard as thinking about the future and Trapeni as acting goofy. He said Bethurum was talkative.

"Emma and I were on the dance floor and someone kept coming up and getting in between," Fauver said. "It kept repeatedly happening. He was relentless. We just kept grabbing hands and moving away to the point where we just left."

Fauver said the group didn't drive their own vehicles and intended to get an Uber. The fight broke out when the group was deciding where the best point was to call for an Uber.

"It felt like a tornado out of nowhere. It moved over very quickly," Fauver said. "I got pulled in and I remember trying to grab someone. I fell and hit my head. I was OK but it went black for a minute. And then I was moved to the sidewalk and I was trying to locate everyone. Then AJ came to us and said he got hit in the eye. At that point, Paul appeared out of thin air. He had two bloodstains on his shirt. Some people helped get him down. I knew people were doing what they could. I tried to contact a family member who was a surgeon at Vanderbilt to do anything I could at that point."

Quillen made Fauver identify her group in several photos through an overhead projector.

During questioning, Quillen and the prosecution had to square away what the judge dubbed as "housekeeping matters" and dismissed the jury around 5:15 p.m.

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.