The man convicted of killing a father of two in Malibu Creek State Park will spend the rest of his life behind bars. 46-year-old Anthony Rauda was sentenced to 119 years in prison for the murder of Tristan Beaudette in 2018.
The so-called “Malibu Sniper” began terrorizing the area in 2016 by firing random shots at passing motorists and campers in the park. Rauda shot at Beaudette’s tent where he was sleeping with his two young daughters. Rauda was also convicted of their attempted murder and that of another camper at the site who narrowly missed his bullets, but whose camper came under fire.
Beaudette’s widow, Erica Wu, read a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing in downtown Los Angeles June 7. Even Rauda’sdefense attorney called her statement “deeply moving.” Wu spoke of her daughters, now seven and nine, growing up without a father. In the three-week trial in May Wu had testified about the horror her daughters experienced witnessing their father’s death, narrowly escaping bullets targeting them and crying hysterically while covered in blood.
In court June 7, Wu addressed the judge saying, “Knowing the person who caused this to happen is behind bars at least allows us to feel that the most is being done to honor Tristan and to honor our daughters. How many minutes was it like that with them kneeling in a pool of blood next to his body, crying for him to wake up?,” Wu tearfully questioned. “I hope he would have died instantly,” she added. Wu described her late husband as an accomplished chemist, natural athlete, home chef, and an incredible partner.
Rauda, who earlier had waived his right to attend his murder trial, did appear at the sentencing hearing as he had in earlier appearances. He was wheeled into court in a restraint chair, completely shackled and wearing a spit hood over his head. These precautionary measures were taken after Rauda had already been convicted of violently assaulting two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies. Those attacks were caught on surveillance video. Before his sentencing Rauda was already serving three years and eight months on those charges.
Rauda had a lengthy criminal background before the murder including illegal possession of firearms. He apparently was living outdoors as a survivalist when he was finally captured on a ridgetop near Malibu Creek State Park in late 2018. He was also convicted in a series of burglaries in the area including a few at the Las Virgenes Municpal Water District building on Las Virgenes near the park and at the Calabasas Community Center.
Judge Eleanor J. Hunter scolded Rauda from the bench, “You’ve earned every single aspect of putting you in restraints because of how you’ve chosen to conduct yourself.”
With one conviction of second-degree murder and three convictions of attempted murder Judge Hunter called out Raudaas not just a danger to the community, but “an extreme one.”
Hunter added, “It’s a chilling kind of case and literally it’s everybody in the community’s worst nightmare. Your only motive that day was to kill. Your only motive that day was to kill,” she repeated. Hunter also called Rauda “violent, vicious, and cold-blooded,” but also claimed he was “smart” noting that Rauda’s crimes were researched, from making a gun to modifying it. “That is a dangerous combination being both cold-blooded and smart.”
Rauda, who had previously acted up in court during earlier appearances, this time did not.
Originally the judge had sentenced Rauda to 142 years to life, but after meeting with attorneys on both sides, she said she made a miscalculation and revised her sentence to 119 years. Still life in prison.