VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A former Virginia Beach resident was sentenced to 40 years in prison with 25 suspended Wednesday for murdering the mother of his child after she gave him child custody paperwork.
Cornelius Courtney Beggs, 34, pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder in the July 2016 death of Lysa Story, the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office announced in a news release Wednesday.
The judge also sentenced him during the court appearance, according to the release.
Had the case gone to trial, evidence would have shown Story gave Beggs child custody paperwork and asked him to sign in on July 19, 2016. Story had recently cut off the couple’s engagement, and the pair shared an infant daughter.
Beggs refused to sign the paperwork. Story then took their daughter to a friend’s house to spend the night.
She returned home the following morning at 5:17 a.m. A few minutes later, a neighbor heard several loud thuds coming from the apartment, which was unusual for the normally quiet woman.
The neighbor then saw Story’s car drive off.
About an hour later, Beggs arrived at his parents’ home in Hampton. He said there was an emergency and he needed them to watch his daughter.
At 6:51 a.m., Story’s mother arrived at Story’s home to start babysitting her granddaughter, which she normally did while Story worked. She called Story but could not reach her, left, then returned later around 8:20 a.m.
At that time, Story’s mother found her covered in blood in an upstairs bathroom. First responders arrived after the mother called 911, then pronounced Story deceased.
Story had about 80 stab wounds.
Investigators found a pair of jeans covered in Story’s blood and containing Beggs’ identification card and credit card.
Beggs was later stopped by a trooper in Utah. He was taken into custody, at which time he said he “did not mean to do it.”
“While being extradited to Virginia, Beggs told Virginia Beach police officers that he gets stressed and angry when someone tries to take something like his child away from him. He said he was willing to take responsibility for what happened between him and his child’s mother, and stated, ‘My motives were justified but my actions were wrong,'” the release said.