A man charged with killing a Temecula musician is ready to stand trial, a judge said today.
Mickey David Beauchamp Wagstaff, 27, of Pala, was charged with the fatal stabbing of his fiancée, Elizabeth “Bipsy” Kellenbarger Amirian, 27, of Temecula, after raping her in his minivan at the Promenade mall, according to court records.
If convicted, Wagstaff could face life in prison without parole.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Timothy Freer scheduled the trial for Aug. 8 during a hearing today.
Rape and murder charges
The incident happened on Feb. 12, 2009, on the third floor of the mall’s parking garage, according to prosecutors.
Wagstaff forced Amirian to stay with him for two days before the alleged assault. He bound her ankles to keep her from running away and drove her to several locations before parking in the mall’s garage and raping her, according to sheriff’s investigators.
The couple had been arguing before the attack about their wedding plans and whether sex before marriage was acceptable, investigators testified during previous hearings.
Moments after the assault, sheriff’s Sgt. Keith Knotek walked up to the van, responding to a call from mall security, and tapped on the window. Wagstaff saw the sergeant, then pulled out a knife and started plunging it into the woman, Knotek testified during a hearing in 2009.
The sergeant smashed the window and shocked the defendant with a Taser. Wagstaff was subdued, but the knife attack lasted about a minute, and Amirian suffered from 39 stab wound in the head, back and neck, Knotek said. She died at the scene.
The defendant had no plans to kill his fiancée, but panicked when he saw the sergeant, defense attorney Renee Rupp argued during a previous hearing.
Her fans knew her as Bipsy
Amirian was a pianist and singer who played at various venues from Temecula to Escondido under the name “Bipsy,” a nickname she got from a childhood nanny, she said during an interview before the stabbing.
Her music was moody, and her vocals were angelic. Her heroes were Tori Amos and Kate Price, she said.
Her lyrics conveyed her unique spirituality, a kind of Christianity blended with some Jewish practices.
When she was killed, she was almost finished recording her first full-length album, called “BattleCry,” which she wrote and produced herself. Her music is still online at www.myspace.com/beatnikbipsy.
City News Service contributed to this report.