Atlanta, Georgia – With two gunshots to the chest, a man is accused of killing his new wife in the doorway of their apartment.
“The (victim’s) body was placed in the passenger seat of her car after being shot,” an arrest warrant for 42-year-old James Leon Beard alleges. “The victim’s four children were in the car and gave the same account of events.”
Charged with murder, Beard said the gun “went off,” killing Angela Juanette Bishop late Friday, according to a police report.
Beard was arrested on the scene when police found the body of his wife outside his home, but he claims the shooting was an accident.
He shot her in front of her children. After the shooting, Beard allegedly placed Bishop in the passenger seat of her Toyota Camry where her four children, aged eight to 13, were sitting in the backseat.
Police allege he did it on purpose and tossed the Beretta .40-caliber into the woods, but investigators haven’t released a motive. Police records released Monday also don’t make clear why the body was put in the Toyota Camry, or why the children were in the car.
Beard was arrested at his home on Panthersville Road outside Decatur where police arrived to find the body the car.
Beard said he’d heard a banging at the door and couldn’t see anyone through the peephole. He said the gun fired when he was opening the door. Beard shot Bishop twice in the chest.
Bishop, 38, who had been a resident of Hartsville, South Carolina, was pronounced dead at the scene.
He had previously posted on social media about carrying a gun for his safety due to the high rate of murders in Atlanta
Beard now faces felony murder charges in DeKalb County.