What to Know
- Tristan Beaudette, 35, was hit with a single shot while his young daughters slept beside him June 22 at a Malibu campground.
- Anthony Rauda was carrying the gun and two loaded magazines when he was arrested in October near the park, officials said.
- A detective familiar with the case who was not authorized to speak publicly called it part of a 10-year crime spree.
The parolee charged with murdering a father -- who was killed while camping with his family at Malibu Creek State Park -- pleaded not guilty Tuesday in court in Van Nuys.
Anthony Rauda was ordered to return to court Feb. 4 for a pretrial hearing. He's being held on $10 million bail. Rauda, 42, was charged Jan. 7 with murdering Tristan Beaudette last June and the attempted murders of 10 other people, including Beaudette’s children, between 2016 and 2018.
The charges were filed after authorities said they had finally assembled enough evidence to link the Beaudette killing to the arrest of a reputed serial burglar, who was caught last October in a steep, brush-covered ravine near the park while armed with a rifle.
Beaudette, 35, was shot to death while he slept alongside his 2 and 4-year-old daughters inside a closed tent at the park, and last month his widow filed a governmental claim that blamed local and state authorities for his death.
"The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, California State Park Police, Department of Parks and Recreation, and California State Parks and Recreation Commission have confirmed they were aware of at least seven unsolved shootings in Malibu Creek State Park," the claim said. "[The agencies] ... negligently failed to care and provide a safe space for Beaudette and his children, instead causing his death."
The claim filing is a step required before the widow, Erica Wu, can file suit in court. The claim demands damages upwards of $90 million. Rauda also faces five counts of second-degree burglary for break-ins in the same area over the last few years.
In a statement the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said Rauda is accused of shootings in the Malibu Creek State Park area that date to November 2016, when he allegedly wounded a man sleeping in a hammock at the park. Rauda is accused of shooting into vehicles three different times in 2017.
In June 2018, he allegedly opened fire on a Tesla on Las Virgenes Road. Beaudette was shot four days later. Prosecutors were only able to file the case after a forensic comparison of bullets linked several shootings, including the Beaudette murder, with the gun Rauda was allegedly carrying when he was arrested.
That ballistic comparison was completed in early October, but the case took many more weeks to assemble, according to the sources. They also said evidence shows Rauda is also responsible for additional shootings and burglaries for which not enough evidence was found for prosecution, including an until-now unsolved shooting of a woman driving on Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Ventura County in 2010.
Rauda has been tied to thefts and violence in LA, Ventura and Sonoma counties. Rauda has been serving a sentence in LA County jail for violating the terms of Post Release Conviction Supervision, or PRCS, as a result of his arrest in October in the Malibu burglaries. That sentence was expected to be satisfied in the next week, according to court and jail records. Detectives from the LA County Sheriff's Department's Major Crimes Bureau caught Rauda Oct. 10 near the park.
Rauda was carrying the gun and two loaded magazines, according to testimony at a PRCS violation hearing last year.
A key break in the Malibu Creek State Park death investigation came less than two weeks before that when a security camera system recorded images of a man wearing a headlamp and "tactical style" clothing during an office break-in. As the figure in the video moved into view it was clear the man had a rifle slung over his left shoulder.
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Some of the images, not shown publicly, captured detailed views of the gun. Detectives compared the security video with firearms catalog photos and soon confirmed the gun carried by the burglar was a 9mm carbine, a weapon capable of firing the same caliber bullet that killed Beaudette.
Update: This story has been updated with a new bail amount for the suspect.