Attempted murder suspect back behind bars after exhausting manhunt

Crime Tracker

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Maury County attempted murder suspect is back behind bars in Williamson County after an exhausting manhunt Tuesday morning.

It all began on January 19 just after midnight. That’s when investigators say Leonard Beard was at the jail, where a friend was bonded out of jail.

Jail personnel learned that the 33-year-old, who has attempted murder warrants out of Maury County, was in the parking lot.

When investigators checked, Beard fled from the scene.

Deputies soon got behind the wanted man, chasing him down dark, windy country roads.

At times, speeds reached close to 100 miles per hour.

Dash cam video shows the moment when Beard wrecked his car before running into the woods.

Hours later, by dawn’s early light, deputies from aviation, K9, patrol and SRO’s searched the area, hunting for the wanted man.

The distance from where Beard crashed and where he was eventually captured is about six miles.

Finally, after more than eight hours, deputies closed in on Beard and took him into custody.

Chief Deputy Mark Elrod, who was in a helicopter tracking the suspect, called Beard a “jackrabbit” who was hiding under trees and had no intentions of surrendering.

Sheriff Dusty Rhoades says, “It was a great team effort. Everyone worked real well together; fortunately we had the helicopter. If we hadn’t had that, we wouldn’t have found him.”

News 2 viewers may remember Leonard Beard. Back in the summer of 2016, News 2 spoke to him in the Dickson County Jail after he got drunk on liquor he found unsecured in a police locker outside the city courtroom.

“What did you think when you got into a locker and there’s whiskey and a knife?” asked News 2’s Andy Cordan.

“I’m a drug addict, so I thought, ‘bullseye!'” Beard replied.

The Sheriff says citizens were also a huge help, emailing, texting and even taking pictures of Beard who was spotted running across fields, property and a dairy.

Rhoades adds, “some of the neighbors said they spotted him, so we converged on that area and got a perimeter set up. If not for those calls, he probably would have gotten away.”

Beard is currently in the Williamson County Jail. He is charged with a number of charges including evading arrest and possession of methamphetamines.

He is being held without bond and will also face attempted murder charges in Maury County.

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