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Virginia Larzelere

In 1997, 32-year-old Celeste Beard hit the jackpot. That year, the thrice-divorced Austin housekeeper married her 75-year-old millionaire employer, Steven Beard. Suddenly, Celeste had it all: a Texas mansion, plenty of money, and a stable life for her two daughters. But on October 2, 1999, Celeste’s picture-perfect life came crashing down with one blast from a 20-guage shotgun. That night, an armed intruder slipped into Steven’s bedroom and fired a point-blank shot directly into his chest. Steven survived the initial shot, but five months later, died from complications related to his injury. By then, however, Texas authorities had a suspect in custody–Celeste’s lesbian best friend, Tracey Tarlton. The former bookstore manager eventually implicated Celeste in the plot to kill her husband. At the trial, defense attorneys alleged Tarlton was simply a jealous woman with a terrifying and deadly love interest in Celeste. Prosecutors, on the other hand, claimed the Celeste had manipulated her fiend into perpetrating the shooting in order to inherit Steven’s vast fortune. To support their claim, prosecutors even called Celeste’s own daughters to the stand. Both girls testified that their mother had sought a hit man to silence Tracey before her arrest. The jury found Celeste guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced her to 20 years in prison.

Aug. 06, 2004

Snapped season 1