Crime

Co-defendants plead guilty to reduced charges in 2012 slaying

Maurice Ward Jr. is charged with murder in the death of Anthoney Carol Beaumont who was shot in the parking lot of Northpoint/Lexington Health Care Center on Oct. 2, 2012.
Maurice Ward Jr. is charged with murder in the death of Anthoney Carol Beaumont who was shot in the parking lot of Northpoint/Lexington Health Care Center on Oct. 2, 2012.

Two co-defendants pleaded guilty Monday to amended charges in the 2012 shooting death of a man outside a Lexington nursing home.

Maurice Ward Jr., 23, of Lexington pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the Oct. 2, 2012, death of Anthoney Beaumont, 31, of Lexington.

Beaumont was shot in the parking lot at Northpoint Lexington Healthcare Center on Trent Boulevard. No residents of the home were injured.

Ward originally was charged with murder. His recommended sentence under a plea deal is 15 years in prison.

Also Monday, Delvagio Christopher Lax, 30, who drove Ward away after the shooting, pleaded guilty to criminal facilitation to manslaughter. Lax had been charged with criminal facilitation to murder. Under the plea deal, a charge of being a persistent felony offender will be dismissed. Lax's recommended sentence is a year in jail.

Both men entered pleas Monday, the same day they were scheduled to go on trial.

They are scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 23 before Fayette Circuit Judge Ernesto Scorsone.

Beaumont, the victim, was fighting with Aaron Denard "Nardy" Dudley in the nursing home parking lot when Ward allegedly shot Beaumont, Lexington police Detective Steve McCown testified during a preliminary hearing last year.

Beaumont had learned of some text messages and cellphone calls between Dudley and Beaumont's wife, Brandis, who worked at the nursing home.

Brandis Beaumont had told her husband that nothing was going on between her and Dudley, but Anthoney Beaumont didn't believe her, McCown testified at that hearing. Brandis Beaumont said she had been in contact with Dudley only to console him about the recent death of his mother, McCown had testified.

Ward fled to Memphis after the shooting but was arrested there last year.

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