The former fiancé of a decorated Navy officer and mother of three has been charged with her murder, the Navy Times reports.
Authorities in Jacksonville, Florida, arrested 36-year-old Danny Ray Beard on Friday in connection with the September 17 killing of 37-year-old Andrea L. Washington.
Washington was a chief gas turbine systems technician who worked on the ship Hue City, a guided-missile cruiser based at Naval Station Mayport near Jacksonville on Florida’s Atlantic coast. Agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service assisted in the case, but investigators have always suspected that Beard, a civilian, was involved.
On September 2, Washington went to the police about Beard and two days later sought a domestic violence protection order against him.
Washington alleged that Beard beat her mercilessly when she asked him to contribute to household bills, according to court records obtained by The Washington Post.
He “pushed me down to the floor, kicked me in my stomach, chased me to the bedroom and pulled a gun on me,” the documents state. Beard also allegedly kicked a hole through her door, took her car and mailbox keys and ruined her iPad.
Danny Ray Beard appeared in court this morning after being arrested for the murder of Navy Chief Petty Officer Andrea Washington. He looked back and winked in the direction of the camera. He continues to be held on no bond. @FCN2go @JuliaJenaeFCN pic.twitter.com/MTzFYUV6XT
— Shelby Danielsen (@NewsShelby) December 8, 2018
On September 5, a judge granted the protective order, which was temporary, and scheduled a hearing 12 days later. But Washington had been killed by that point. Washington’s colleagues told the Navy Times that she was a knowledgeable, competent and loyal officer.
Turbine Systems Technician Tara Parramore described Washington as a leader, telling the Navy Times that she “was never afraid to get her hands dirty and went tip for tap with the male engineers.”
Washington joined the Navy in May 2001 and previously served on the destroyers Gonzalez and Laboon. She earned senior rank just a week before her death. She has three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
“Please don’t let her death and the manner in which she was murdered overshadow who she was or her flawless Navy career,” Parramore said.
Washington leaves behind three sons, whom family friend Phantom McClendon said she loved dearly.
“Her sons were her life,” McClendon told First Coast News. “Her heart was made of gold. She was the type of person that she would give you her last dollar and the shirt off her back if you needed it. And that’s just how she was.”
Beard is being held without bond in the Duval County Jail.
A GoFundMe page is raising money for Washington’s three children.
[Feature Photo: Andrea L. Washington/Handout]
*Editor’s Note*: Story corrected to reflect Andrea Washington was a Naval chief. The original story listed her as an officer.