A parolee was charged Monday with murdering a 35-year-old research scientist, who was shot while camping in Malibu Creek State Park with his two young children last June, and trying to kill another 10 people in the area over a period of two years.
Anthony Rauda, 42, is scheduled to be arraigned in a Van Nuys courtroom Monday on one count of murder, 10 counts of attempted murder and five counts of second-degree burglary. If convicted as charged, the transient faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Rauda, who was arrested in October, is accused of shooting Irvine resident Tristan Thomas Beaudette while the Allergan scientist was sleeping in a tent with his daughters about 4:45 a.m. last June 22. The girls, then 2 and 4 years old, were uninjured.
But prosecutors allege the defendant’s attacks date back to at least November 2016, when he’s accused of wounding a man sleeping in a hammock in the area of the state park. Less than a week later, Rauda alleged fired into the sleeping area of a parked vehicle.
Four days before Beaudette was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head, authorities allege Rauda shot at a Tesla on La Virgenes Road.
He is also charged with several burglaries that occurred last year in the Calabasas area.
Rauda was sentenced Dec. 13 to six months in jail for gun and ammunition violations, a sentence set to run consecutively with an earlier 160-day sentence for violating parole or violation, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Details on his prior criminal record were not immediately available.
Investigators have limited information on Beaudette’s death, saying it could taint the investigation, which is ongoing.
A lack of answers in the investigation led to confusion and rumors among locals, especially in Monte Nido, a neighborhood just southeast of the entrance of Malibu Creek State Park where some residents said they feared using the park’s hiking trails.
The Sheriff’s Department issued a statement Monday morning saying that investigators believe Rauda acted alone.
“No similar crimes have been reported in the area since (his arrest),” according to the department.
At a July news conference announcing $30,000 in reward money for tips about Beaudette’s death, his widow, Erica Wu, described her husband as a “devoted husband and father whose life revolved around” his family.
“We met when we were teenagers, grew up together, married, and had two amazing and beautiful daughters,” she said. “In everything that he did, Tristan was kind, selfless, and giving, and had a natural ability to connect with just about anyone. We supported each other as we pursued our careers while balancing what truly mattered most — spending time with our girls and living life to the fullest. I may never understand why our time together was cut short, but we had an incredible journey and I am so grateful for every day I had with him.”
Wu, who was studying for an exam and didn’t make the camping trip, said Beaudette “rejoiced in sharing his love for the outdoors with the girls and believed that campgrounds were the definition of a sanctuary where people could feel safe and secure.”