CAPE CORAL, Fla.- On November 15, 2010 Cape Coral Police received a 911 call from a home on SW Embers Terrace at 9:39am. The caller told dispatchers that she had just been violently attacked by a housemate and sexually assaulted.
The housemate was Terrell Beckwith, whom the victim and her husband let stay in their home by renting him a room for the past four months. Beckwith was in a minor argument with the female victim about groceries and potentially moving out that morning. Shortly after the argument was over, the victim went into her bedroom to get ready for the day.
Beckwith entered the victim’s room armed with a large hunting knife. Beckwith stated that he was going to sexually assault the woman before he killed her. Beckwith then attacked the woman as he threatened her with the knife. The victim was able to retrieve a handgun that was on the nightstand however Beckwith wrestled it away from her.
As the victim was pleading for her life, her husband arrived home and witnessed the attack. The husband intervened and Beckwith fled from the house.
Cape Police began a manhunt for Beckwith, who had prior arrests for murder, escape, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Two days later, Beckwith was captured by Cape Coral Police in the area of Janis Road and Burnt Store Road. Beckwith was hiding from authorities by living out of his car.
On November 30, 2011 Beckwith was on trial for the attack. The jury deliberated for only an hour and a half before they convicted him on numerous charges. Beckwith was found guilty of:
Ø Sexual Battery- 15 years in prison
Ø Aggravated Batter w/ Deadly Weapon- 15 years in prison
Ø Kidnapping- life in prison (with min/man 25yrs)
Ø Sexual Battery While Armed- life (with min/man 25yrs)
Ø Attempted Sexual Battery- 30 years in prison
“There just aren’t words to express how happy, relieved and grateful I am. The system worked today,” said the victim to Lead Detective Christy Ellis as the verdict was reached.
“This was a tremendous effort by our Detectives, Forensics Personnel and our uniformed Patrol Officers. They presented a rock solid case to the State Attorney’s Office, who tried a tremendous case. Swift justice is what our victim needed,” said Lieutenant Tony Sizemore.