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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Man convicted of murder in California campground shootings that left father dead inside tent

A man accused of a string of shootings in and around a Southern California campground, including the killing of a pharmaceutical scientist as he slept with his two children inside a tent, was convicted Friday of second-degree murder and other crimes, his lawyer said.

Anthony Rauda, 46, had been charged with first-degree murder in the June 22, 2018, killing of Tristan Beaudette, but the jury convicted him of the lesser count, attorney Nick Okorocha said in an interview. 

Rauda was also convicted of three counts of attempted murder and five counts of burglary, Okorocha said. 

The jury acquitted Rauda of seven counts of attempted murder in the series of shootings that spanned nearly two years, from Nov 3. 2016 to June 22, 2018, in and around Malibu Creek State Park, about 34 miles west of Los Angeles, he said.

Beaudette, 35, was shot once in the chest. His daughters, then ages 2 and 4, were uninjured.

The two children are among those named as victims in the second-degree attempted murder charges that Rauda was convicted of, Okorocha said.

Rauda was also convicted of first-degree attempted murder in the shooting of a Tesla that was being driven near the park, Okorocha said.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In court, the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case said the evidence was “overwhelming” that Rauda fired at unsuspecting drivers and “had a pattern of stalking and preying on campers” at the park, usually between 3 and 5 a.m. City News Service reported.

The first shooting allegedly targeted a man sleeping in a hammock. Rauda was acquitted of the crime.

Rauda was arrested in October 2018 for the burglaries, which targeted a community center and water district facility in the area, City News Service reported. Food was taken during the break-ins.

He was later indicted in the shootings.

Okorocha said there were enough gaps in the case that jurors found reasonable doubt in the prosecutor’s claims.

“The jury appears to have been very careful and detail oriented in their deliberations,” he said.

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