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Sentencing Set For Killer, Rapist of Girlfriend

Mickey David Beauchamp Wagstaff, 27, of Pala, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole for the special circumstance murder of Elizabeth "Bipsy" Kellenbarger Amirian, 27, of Temecula.

A Pala man who kidnapped, raped and killed his girlfriend is set to be sentenced today and may spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Mickey David Beauchamp Wagstaff, 27, of Pala, was convicted Dec. 1 at the in French Valley of first-degree murder with the special circumstances of kidnapping and raping his fiancee, Elizabeth "Bipsy" Kellenbarger Amirian, 27, of Temecula.

The Riverside County District Attorney opted not to seek the death penalty for Wagstaff.

The jury deliberated for less than five hours before deciding he stabbed the woman to death in the parking structure of The Promenade mall in Temecula. To read about what happened,

The defense argued against the first-degree murder charge in favor of second-degree because he had no plans to kill. To read about the evidence for that,

The prosecution said he did plan to kill her, which was evidenced by his binding her and keeping her trapped in his van. To read about the evidence for that,.

When the killing happened, Wagstaff was thrown into a state of panic when a sheriff's sergeant unexpectedly knocked on the window of the van where Amirian was tied up. To read about what happened in the van,.

During the trial, the defense argued that the killer was mentally unstable and at several points during interrogations, Wagstaff implied he was possessed by an unseen force when the killing happened. To read about what he said, .

Defense Attorney Renee Rupp also argued against the special circumstance of rape, because no evidence except for a confession from Wagstaff pointed to sexual assault.

To read about the defense argument against the special circumstance of rape, .

Family members gathered outside the courtroom after the verdict was read, where they hugged, cried and smiled.

"We couldn't be happier (about the verdict)," said Michael Plato, the victim's stepfather.

Related Topics: Mickey David Beauchamp Wagstaff, bipsy music, elizabeth bipsy Kellenbarger Amirian, murders in temecula, temecula murders, and temecula musician killed

temeculan January 27, 2012 at 03:22 PM
"He was possessed by an unseen force". Wow....brilliant defense strategy. He will now be possessed by a "seen" force - called Death Row.
SPB January 27, 2012 at 04:24 PM
such an awful human being... if we can even bestow such a title.
Secrets of Safety January 27, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Are you sure? "The Riverside County District Attorney opted not to seek the death penalty for Wagstaff.".
Secrets of Safety January 27, 2012 at 05:54 PM
"We" don't "bestow" a title of human being. Although a lot of us like to try to imply we have the right to take that "title" away from others. Yes, he is an awful human being.
SPB January 27, 2012 at 07:29 PM
I disagree. He's a monster.
Secrets of Safety January 27, 2012 at 07:50 PM
LOL... no.. he is a human being. It's a good thing we weren't endowed with the individual right to determine whether or not another human being is in-fact "a human being". Who knows... if that were the case, you might not be considered a human being by someone else and thus you wouldn't have to be treated like one. I realize it makes it easier to do horrible things to people who have done horrible things when we consider them "not human", but that practice is actually imparted to criminal type thinking by professionals in psychology. It's called "objectifying". And it is done in order for one human being to harm another human being without experiencing guilt over what the offending person has done... Stooping to the same level of those who harm others to justify doing the same to the offender isn't making us better than them. It makes us the same as them, we just rationalize it as some legal right we think we have. Remember, offenders have reasoning too.. And it isn't much different from that which you are displaying. Disagree all you want.. he is still a human being... Awful.... but a human being just the same.. Only human beings have the ability to do monstrous things. Monsters appear in fables, fictional stories and nightmares.. and, of course in the minds of those who want to do horrible things to other human beings..
SPB January 27, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Calling the guy who murdered my friend a "monster" hardly makes me the same as him. I don't care to know the reasoning behind why he decided to rape and stab one of the most wonderful people I've ever known 39 times, nor why he thinks he shouldn't rot in a cage for the rest of his life. I'll leave that to the wards of the state. To me he shed his humanity long ago and if the semantics of my opinion bother you that much, thats your problem.
Secrets of Safety January 27, 2012 at 10:58 PM
I understand your outrage and your contempt for the man who killed your friend. I heard her voice and saw her art. Her loss of life robbed this world of a beautiful spirit. Denying humanity to a human being is hardly "semantics", it's what drives people to justify horrible actions. I did not suggest that you should consider the reasoning the man had for what he did. I wasn't talking about that at all. I was talking about your claim that he is not human. That is simply a false statement. I don't care whether you are in the throws or grief or just feel someone has done something you don't like, attempting to deny humanity of a human being is incorrect, for whatever reason, whether anyone feels it is right or not. I said, that he is human (contrary to your statement that he isn't), you used the term monster and disagreed that he is human. It doesn't matter how much rage, anger or justification a person comes up with, the fact still remains he is human. If that fact bothers you, that is your problem as well as the problem of a lot of people in our society. The man deserves his punishment, and that is that. It cannot change the fact that he is human, and neither can you. Please don't attribute your anger for him to me. I did not do it, and I did not state that you are the same as him. Having said that, I reiterate - I understand your outrage and your sorrow for your loss and my condolences to you and the rest of her friends and family.
Secrets of Safety January 27, 2012 at 10:59 PM
There is NO justification for a man to rape or kill a woman. In this situation, I don't understand why the prosecutor did not ask for the death penalty. This crime was and is inexcusable I don't care how it is rationalized. Myself and everyone I know (who know about it) are outraged at what happened in this case. I don't feel that justice was served in this case. However, it would probably be a safe bet that prison is not going to be a safe place for him and his having to worry about losing his own life (and how that might happen) every day he survives in prison is going to be a torture that many people would gladly imagine.
Stephen August 15, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Oh well that is the price of living in a socialist California.

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