Commonwealth v. Cornelius Beggs; Man Kills Mother of his Child and Flees to Utah, Sentenced to Serve 15 Years

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

​Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth's Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Cornelius Courtney Beggs, age 34, formerly of the 5500 block of Finespun Last in Virginia Beach, Virginia, pled guilty today Second Degree Murder.  In accordance with a plea agreement, Circuit Court Judge James C. Lewis sentenced Beggs to forty (40) years in prison with twenty-five (25) years suspended leaving fifteen (15) years to serve.  This sentence was within the Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines recommended range, and the plea agreement had the full support of the victim's family.

Had this case gone to trial, the Commonwealth's evidence would have proven that on July 19, 2016, the victim, Lysa Story, presented Cornelius Beggs with child custody paperwork.  Story recently ended her engagement with Beggs and they had an infant daughter in common.  Beggs refused to sign the paperwork, and Story took her daughter to a friend's house to spend the night.  Story and her daughter left her friend's house to return home the next morning at 5:17 a.m.  A few minutes later, a neighbor who lived in the townhome next to Story heard several loud thuds on the common wall that ran between their townhomes.  She noted that normally Story's home is very quiet.  The neighbor looked outside and saw Story's vehicle being driven from the townhome.

At 6:21 a.m., Beggs arrived at his parents' home in Hampton, Virginia.  He told his parents there was an emergency and he needed them to watch his daughter.  He then left.  Around 6:50 a.m., Story's mother arrived at Story's home because she babysat her grandaughter while Story worked.  Story's mother thought it was weird that both Beggs' and Story's vehicles were gone.  She called Story but did not get in touch with her.  Around 8:20 a.m., Story's mother found Story in the upstairs master bathroom, covered in blood.  She called 911, and Story was pronounced deceased shortly thereafter.  Story had approximately 80 stab wounds.  In the master closet, police found a pair of men's jeans with Beggs' ID and credit card in the pocket.  The jeans were covered in blood that was later determined to be Story's blood. 

On July 25, 2016, Beggs was stopped by a trooper in Emery County, Utah. When taken into custody for murder, Beggs told the trooper, "I 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." 

Had this matter gone to trial, Beggs' mental health issues at the time of the offense would have been presented as evidence by the defense. 

Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Paul J. Powers and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Katharine D. Aicher prosecuted this case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.