Home / Carjacking Turns into Murder: The Napoleon Beazley Story

Carjacking Turns into Murder: The Napoleon Beazley Story

Beazley wanted to steal a car, but it turns into capital murder. Find out how a 17-year-old received the death penalty. Napoleon Beazley was born on August 5, 1976. Beazley in life was ultimately known as a convicted murderer who was executed via lethal injection in the state of Texas on May 28, 2002. 

Beazley was ultimately executed for murdering John Luttig, 63 back in April of 1994. Beazley even went as far as shooting Luttig’s wife, but ultimately Beazley missed, and she survived the whole ordeal by playing dead. 

But Beazley did not act alone, he also had the help of the Coleman brothers, Donald, and Cedrick who would ultimately put the nail in Beazley’s coffin and get life prison sentences themselves. 

A Notable Case

There are not many notable death penalty cases, but Beazley’s case was one of the more notable cases to date. It was notable because Beazley was not an adult. Beazley at the time of the crime he committed was only 17 years 8.5 months old. But with the nature of his crime, as his victim was a father of the United States federal judge, he was going to be tried as an adult. 

But since his victim was the father of J. Michael Luttig it made his case very hard to try along with his appeals. When his appeals went through the United States Supreme Court, three out of the nine justices had to excuse themselves from the case because they had personal relations with Judge Luttig. This ultimately only left 6 justices to review Beazley’s case. 

Justice Antonin Scalia ended up excusing himself due to the fact that Luttig had clerked for him one time or another while Justices Clarence Thomas and David Souter excused themselves due to the fact that Luttig was the leader of the George H.W. Bush Administration’s effort to obtain the United States Senate confirmation for them in the Supreme Court. 

Summary

On the day of when the crime was committed Beazley would tell a friend that they might see him driving a Mercedes to and from school very soon. 

So, that evening of when the crime happened Beazley who was 17 at the time asked his mother if he can borrow her car. His mother obliged and Beazley went off to pick up the Coleman brothers, Cedric, 19 and Donald, 18 drive them to Tyler, Texas. 

Beazley brought in the vehicle with him his .45-caliber pistol along with his sawed-off shotgun. 

At first, Beazley and crew tried to carjack a Lexus, well, that did not work as planned. But then Beazley saw a 1987 Mercedes that was owned by John Luttig. John and his wife, Bobbie were driving home from Dallas, Texas when the incident occurred. Beazley and crew followed the couple to their home in Tyler and pulled their car in at the end of the driveway. 

This is when Beazley got out of his mother’s car and took off his shirt he was wearing. At this time, Beazley was armed with his .45-caliber pistol. Beazley then ran towards the Luttig’s garage followed by Donald Coleman who was armed with the sawed-off shotgun that Beazley also brought. 

All it took was for Beazley to fire one round from his .45-caliber pistol to hit John Luttig on the side of the head. This shot did not kill John, but it sure did stun him and left him in a seated position. 

Beazley then ran around the Luttig’s car to where John’s wife, Bobbie was getting out of the car. Beazley fired one shot at Mrs. Luttig at close range and returned to where Mr. Luttig was. Mrs. Luttig fell to the ground, even though the shot did, in fact, miss her. 

When Beazley came back to Mr. Luttig, he fired just one more shot at close range into his head to seal the deal. When Beazley shot Mr. Luttig, he got blood splatter all over him. Beazley then searched through Luttig’s pockets to locate the keys to the Mercedes. 

When Beazley found the keys to the Mercedes he hopped in the vehicle and ran the Mercedes over the retaining wall, which ultimately caused too much damage to the vehicle and Beazley abandoned it shortly after. 

Beazley would then rejoin with the group shortly after abandoning the Mercedes. The group or known as the Coleman brothers followed Beazley from the crime scene. They were driving Beazley’s mother’s car. 

Beazley told the brothers that he is not afraid of getting rid of anyone who mentions anything about the crime. 

The three cohorts returned to Grapeland, Texas. 

Just a few days after the three committed the crime, Beazley thought it was best to confide in a friend about what he and the two Coleman brothers did just a few days prior. Beazley recounted how they tried to steal a car, but then he shot a man in the head three times and tried to murder a woman as well. 

Ultimately, when Beazley was arrested and taken in, Beazley’s father asked his son, if it was true that it was him who committed the crime that he was accused of, Beazley replied, “Yes.”

Donald and Cedric Coleman both got life sentences for testifying against Beazley in the courtroom. Beazley would receive the death penalty. 

Beazley would be the 19th person executed within the United States since the year 1976 for a crime that was committed prior to being 18 years of age.

Crime Facts

Napoleon Beazley was sentenced to death for his role in the killing of John Luttig on March 17, 1995. This incident happened on April 19, 1994, in Tyler Texas. 

At the time of when the crime occurred, Beazley who was 25 at the time of sentencing was only 3.5 months shy of his 18th birthday. 

The night of April 18, 1994, Beazley and his friends, the Coleman brothers planned to drive from their prospective homes in Grapeland, Texas to Corsicana, Texas. Cedric was planning on meeting a few girls in the Corsicana College. 

However, Beazley was expressing great interest to steal a vehicle and his friends had noticed he was carrying a gun. 

On their way to Corsicana, Texas, Beazley told the Coleman brothers that he was ready to hijack a vehicle. 

Beazley was armed with his .45 caliber pistol and his sawed-off shotgun. When they reached the Corsicana College, Beazley was inspecting all the cars on the campus and asked the brothers when the students return to their dorms for the evening. 

Then Beazley stated that he wanted to drive to Dallas, Texas to ultimately hijack a car. However, the brothers stated it was best to wait a day to really plan this and the group returned home. 

Then on April 19, 1994, Beazley would tell a friend that they might see him driving a Mercedes to and from school very soon. 

Beazley would again be armed with his sawed-off shotgun and his .45-caliber pistol as they drove to Corsicana and then to Tyler, Texas. Beazley saw a Lexus he wanted to carjack, but they lost sight of the car soon after, which highly irritated Beazley. 

Then the group decided to go to a local restaurant in the area. This is when Beazley saw a Mercedes

Later, when heading to a local restaurant, Beazley saw a Mercedes in the restaurant’s parking lot. As the driver of the Mercedes exited his vehicle, Beazley jumped out of his car armed with the .45-caliber pistol. However, the driver entered the restaurant before Beazley could reach him, apparently without noticing Beazley.

One of the Coleman brothers, Cedric yelled to tell Beazley to come back to the car and they were not going to eat. Cedric then started to drive the group home. 

Beazley then ordered Cedric who was driving at the time to turn around the vehicle and drive back towards Tyler, Texas stating that he was going to have to shoot my driver (meaning Cedric). 

This is when Cedric pulled the vehicle over and stated that Beazley would have to drive himself around because he didn’t want to do it anymore. Beazley then got in the driver’s seat and started driving back to Tyler, Texas again because he was ready to steal a car to see what it would be like to murder someone. 

As the trio drove back to Tyler, Texas for the second time that very day, Beazley then spotted a nice 1987 Mercedes that was owned by John Luttig. John and his wife, Bobbie were driving home from Dallas, Texas. 

Beazley and crew followed the couple to their home in Tyler and pulled their car in at the end of the driveway. 

This is when Beazley got out of his mother’s car and took off his shirt he was wearing. At this time, Beazley was armed with his .45-caliber pistol. Beazley then ran towards the Luttig’s garage followed by Donald Coleman who was armed with the sawed-off shotgun that Beazley also brought. 

All it took was for Beazley to fire one round from his .45-caliber pistol to hit John Luttig on the side of the head. This shot did not kill John, but it sure did stun him and left him in a seated position. 

Beazley then ran around the Luttig’s car to where John’s wife, Bobbie was getting out of the car. Beazley fired one shot at Mrs. Luttig at close range and returned to where Mr. Luttig was. Mrs. Luttig fell to the ground, even though the shot did, in fact, miss her. 

When Beazley came back to Mr. Luttig, he fired just one more shot at close range into his head to seal the deal. When Beazley shot Mr. Luttig, he got blood splatter all over him. Beazley then searched through Luttig’s pockets to locate the keys to the Mercedes. 

Testimony That Nailed Him

The testimony that really put the nail in the coffin at Beazley trial was the testimony of the two Coleman brothers. The Coleman brothers got life sentences for testifying against Beazley during his case.

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