MALIBU—Anthony Rauda was found guilty of second-degree murder on Friday, May 26, in the case of a father who was shot and killed while he was camping at Malibu Creek State Park with his children.
On June 22, 2018, Tristan Beaudette was tent-camping with his two-year-old and four-year-old daughters at Malibu Creek State Park. In the early hours, deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of shots fired in the area. They discovered Beaudette endured a fatal gunshot wound to the head inside the tent. He died before reaching a hospital.
According to the prosecution’s witness, Stacey Sebourn, she was camping nearby on the morning of June 22, 2018. She called 911 after she heard the gunshots, a man shouting for help, and a baby crying.
The shouts for help reportedly came from Beaudette’s brother-in-law, who was also camping with his children nearby. He heard the younger of Beaudette’s two daughters crying without being consoled following “popping sounds.” Once he entered the tent, he witnessed the two girls kneeling in a pool of blood near his brother-in-law’s body.
After a subsequent burglary incident, a scent dog and bootprints lead investigators to Rauda, who was in a makeshift encampment. According to KCAL News, authorities referred to Rauda as a “survivalist” and found that he lived off of stolen food while sleeping outside in the Malibu area. A rifle in his possession was linked through ballistics testing to the one used in Beaudette’s murder.
While prosecutors were seeking first-degree murder charges in the case of Beaudette, the jury found Rauda guilty of second-degree murder, a lesser charge. He pleaded not guilty. Rauda was also charged with the attempted murder of Beaudette’s two daughters and one other person.
In addition, he was charged with five counts of second-degree commercial burglary, which included break-ins at the Calabasas Community Center and Las Virgenes Water District facilities in 2018.
The Beaudette family were not the only suspected victims of Rauda; according to the Los Angeles Times, Rauda fired at campsites and cars seven times, starting in November 2016, with a man who discovered pellets from a gunshot blast in his arm while sleeping near the Backbone hiking trail. The man was just one of 11 people believed to be victimized by Rauda. The jury found him acquitted on counts of first-degree and attempted murder involving seven other victims due to lack of evidence.
By Paige Strickland