Watch CBS News

North Texas woman convicted for helping plan brutal murder of then-fiancé's former girlfriend

CBS News Live
CBS News Texas Live

NORTH TEXAS – A jury has convicted a Rowlett woman for the significant role she played when her then-fiancé cyber stalked and brutally murdered his ex-girlfriend during a bitter custody dispute.

Jurors deliberated an hour-and-a-half before convicting Holly Ann Elkins of conspiracy to stalk, stalking using a dangerous weapon resulting in death and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. 

Elkins now faces up to life in prison for helping plot the Oct. 2, 2020 murder of 24-year-old Alyssa Ann Burkett.

In June 2022, her former fiancé – Andrew Charles Beard – pleaded guilty to stalking using a dangerous weapon resulting in death and with discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.  Beard received a 43-year federal prison sentence.

Burkett was Beard's ex-girlfriend, "with whom he shared a young daughter," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas.

"Holly Elkins and Andrew Beard constructed a campaign of terror aimed at Alyssa Ann Burkett, the mother of Mr. Beard's young daughter," U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton said in a news release. "After months of harassment and stalking, this campaign ended in the incredibly violent murder of Alyssa at the hands of Mr. Beard with Ms. Elkins's full participation and knowledge in the planning and ensuing attempted coverup.

"... I pray that today's verdict brings the victim's family the peace they need to move forward. I know they will never allow Alyssa's daughter to forget just how much her mother loved her." 

The relationship between Beard and Elkins started in April 2020, and by May, the two were shopping for engagement rings, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.    

"In June, however, Ms. Elkins grew frustrated at Mr. Beard's continuing association with Ms. Burkett, writing, 'your BM [baby mamma] owns you,' 'you continue to put BM first,' 'you choose to be idk for lack of a better term submissive to her,' and 'I don't have want or need any (expletive) from anyone," the release said.

Prosecutors said Elkins "began a campaign to harass Ms. Burkett in summer 2020, shortly after Elkins moved into Beard's home," and in June, the couple placed a GPS tracker on Burkett's vehicle.  

The harassment continued until a plan was put into place to murder Burkett.  Along the way, they purchased a black rainsuit, dark makeup, .410 shotgun shells and a knife, authorities said.

"One week prior to the murder, Ms. Elkins texted Mr. Beard and said 'I hope you handle it,'" the release said. "She requested that he be 'ride or die' for her and said if he was not, she is not sure the relationship can continue. Shortly after that text exchange, Google records reflect that Andrew Beard began conducting searches for how to remove gunpowder from his hands.

On Oct. 2, 2020, authorities say at Elkins' urging, Beard placed a GPS tracking device on Burkett's car, entered a black SUV he bought for the occasion, and followed Burkett to the apartment complex where she worked in Carrollton. He put on a disguise and exited the SUV with a shotgun before shooting Burkett in the head as she sat in her car. Beard believed he had killed her and ran back to his vehicle. 

Burkett was severely injured and covered in blood from the shotgun blast, but still alive. She staggered out of her car and tried to run into a nearby building for help, but Beard realized she was still alive and ran back over to her. He grabbed her from behind and repeatedly stabbed her in the upper body before he raced away from the scene. Burkett died in the parking lot shortly after.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.