6 August 2004In 1997, 32-year-old Celeste Beard hit the jackpot.
That year, the thrice-divorced Austin housekeeper married her 75-year-old millionaire employer, Steven Beard.
The jury found Celeste guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced her to 20 years in prison.
6 August 2004Virginia Larzelere was well off, even by coastal Florida's relatively high standards.
Her husband Norman was a successful Daytona Beach dentist, and Virginia enjoyed a beautiful home, expensive cars, a yacht and an airplane.
That night, an armed intruder slipped into Steven's bedroom and fired a point-blank shot directly into his chest.
Steven survived the initial shot, but five months later, died from complications related to his injury.
By then, however, Texas authorities had a suspect in custody--Celeste's lesbian best friend, Tracey Tarlton.
The former bookstore manager eventually implicated Celeste in the plot to kill her husband.
At the trial, defense attorneys alleged Tarlton was simply a jealous woman with a terrifying and deadly love interest in Celeste.
Prosecutors, on the other hand, claimed the Celeste had manipulated her fiend into perpetrating the shooting in order to inherit Steven's vast fortune.