A DeSoto Parish man pleaded guilty to second-degree kidnapping, violating protective orders and improper phone communications, shortly before his trial was to have begun Wednesday, January 15, 2020, in Caddo District Judge Katherine Dorroh’s courtroom.

Thomas Ray Beaird, 41, of Stonewall, admitted that on June 18, 2018, he met with his estranged wife under false pretenses, attacked her and tried to restrain her with rope and zip ties. He struck her several times, forced her into her vehicle, put a knife to her throat and, after getting two firearms from his car, threatened to kill her and himself.

He admitted he drove to several locations with his wife tied up in the back seat before he began to lose his nerve. The victim convinced him to let her use the restroom at a gas station, where she was able to signal the manager that she was being held against her will, showing her blackened eyes and mouthing the words “help me.” The station manager, a former law officer, intervened and scared Beaird away.

Beaird pleaded guilty as charged to second-degree kidnapping, three counts of violating protective orders and one count of improper phone communications. Judge Dorroh sentenced Beaird to 13-1/2 years at hard labor on the kidnapping charge and six months in the parish jail on each of the misdemeanor charges, the terms to run concurrently. After originally bonding out on the kidnapping charge, Beaird was convicted in U.S. District Court of lying on a purchase form for a firearm. On that federal charge he was sentenced to a year and a day in jail.

Beaird was prosecuted by the Caddo Parish Assistant District Attorneys Sam Crichton and Britney Green. He was defended by Dhu Thompson.