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Alleged Killer of Temecula Musician Ready for Trial

A man accused of killing a popular singer-songwriter is ready for trial, a judge said today.

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.

Laura Hokenson January 16, 2013 at 07:18 PM
I recently saw this episode i investigate discovery channel. I have been haunted ever since. I also found that I really love her music. And I too, am a Christian with many christian beliefs. I was hoping to find somewhere to purchase her music. It so touched my heart. A reply back would be wonderful! I am so sorry for your loss. I recently had my uncle shot in execution style because he was a police sergeant. It truely can be a very cruel world!
Jessica January 30, 2013 at 01:13 AM
Im am so sorry for your loss, she.seemed like a sweet girl just by washing her and listening to how she is/was but she had alot going for her it seems and im sorry you had to deal with this isaac, that man who so-called loved her didnt really love her or even could know what love was because if he did he wouldnt been able to have killed such a sweet innocent girl and im happy hes behind bars. My prays are with you and your family god bless!
Modera April 19, 2013 at 06:39 AM
"...because the news makes allegations of her interest in Judaism, as if she was planning to become one." As a Jew, I find that kind of offensive. I have been involved in Messianic congregations and all types of denominations where the bulk of the people were born again (or supposed to be) and yes, born-again Christians who read their Bible know that when they accept Jesus into their hearts that they are adopted into God's family and don't have to go out and convert to Judaism to be accepted by God. But even if it IS misinformation in Bipsy's case, I certainly don't think there's anything criminal about the idea of someone actually wanting to go out and convert to Judaism! There are some Christians who have decided to do that for one reason or another -- usually I would think so that they could be a special type of witness to Jewish people.
Modera April 19, 2013 at 06:54 AM
Just thinking about that awful minute and what it must have been like for Bipsy and for the police makes me feel so angry and frustrated and choked up! According to what they were saying on the TV show, I think that the thinking was that one can't be sure if the criminal has a gun on him or not, and the policeman was supposed to be waiting for backup. I wasn't clear about whether he really knew for sure at the time what was happening? He saw pretty quickly that the guy was holding a knife, but I'm not sure if he knew there was a live woman next to him then being actively stabbed. Still, I would like to know a little bit more about how/why he could not stop the attack.
Isaac April 25, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Thank you all for the kind words about our sister! Modera, thank you. I agree with that. The real issue was that the story creates the fictional impression that Bipsy wasn't sincere about looking for the truth and believing it, but that she just "followed her heart" or whatever and made up a patchwork religion for herself. That's the very opposite of who she was. She embraced a lot of elements of Jewish culture because those are not inconsistent with Christianity at all, as you pointed out. But she didn't have a "kind of Christianity" mixed with anything; she was a Bible-believing Christian who happily fellowshipped with all kinds of evangelical Christian churches, as a guest musician or to tell her story. The thing that is disappointing is that the same reporter who wrote this also appeared on television telling a flat-out made up story that Bipsy rejected Biblical Christianity and made up her own faith by "picking and choosing different things" from various religions. This inspired groans and shakes of the head from all of her friends and family. Apparently if a person is dead, you can lie about them to fit your own preferred narrative, since they aren't around to say otherwise? Just seems shady. I understood that he knew Bipsy, and that makes it all the more disappointing.

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