Family of woman brutally murdered in 1999 fighting to keep convicted killer in prison

Family fighting to keep killer in prison

WARREN COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Two decades after a convicted killer murdered the mother of his child, he could get out of prison, but the victim’s family is working hard to make sure that does not happen.

Brandy Southworth was 19 years old when a rocky relationship ended in tragedy. Her on and off again boyfriend, Andrew Beckman, killed her in Morrow on July 25, 1999. Beckman was convicted and has been in prison ever since.

The day before she died, Southworth had told her friends that she was done with Beckman and the domestic violence.

“We were all very happy she had gotten out of the situation and gotten away from him," said Lori Gilbert, Southworth’s sister. "We never dreamed that this would be the result.”

What came out in Warren County court was horrific. Pages of transcripts describe what investigators had pieced together -- Beckman, dressed in all black, had showed up at Southworth’s home with a butcher knife. He brutally murdered her, while their six-month-old son was in the other room.

“Forty-four stab wounds were in her body. Three went through and through," said Denise Harper, Southworth’s sister. "This is not just somebody who killed out of rage. This is somebody who planned and calculated to do this.”

Southworth’s sisters said they have found a way to live without her, but they will never forget about her or the pain they have been forced to feel.

“I just can’t even put it into words, what we went through," said Gilbert.

They now fear for their safety and for the safety of others because Beckman is set to go before a parole board in June. It will be his first shot at freedom.

Southworth’s family is already fighting hard to keep Beckman locked up by spreading an online petition.

“If he were to be granted parole, he could definitely do this to someone else, and we don’t want any other family to go through what we have gone through," said Gilbert.

Their efforts are all in honor of their sister, a person they lost too soon.

“Remember her laughter. Remember her smile. She was 19," said Harper. “Don’t let her spirit fade.”

If the parole board decides to keep Beckman in prison this time, he will have another shot at parole in 10 years.

You can view the petition here.

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