GULFPORT -- A man who hit a woman's father with a pipe wrench and threatened to kill the family cat was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison without the hope of early release.
Timothy Scott Beasley, 52, was sentenced as a habitual offender on convictions handed down April 21 in Harrison County Circuit Court, District Attorney Joel Smith said.
Beasley was arrested May 9, 2015, after Gulfport police were called to a home.
Evidence presented at Beasley's trial showed he had been stalking a woman from a previous relationship even though he was under a court order to stay away from her, Assistant District Attorney Mitch Owen said.
While the family were out to dinner, Beasley sent the woman's mother disturbing text messages and said he was going to kill their cat, then got into the house through an unlocked window, Owen said.
The family thought he had left the house before they returned.
The jury heard testimony that Beasley, armed with a pipe wrench and a large kitchen knife, jumped out of a coat closet and struck the woman's 77-year-old father with the pipe wrench.
A home-video system showed Beasley chasing the woman's 76-year-old mother out of the house and breaking the glass front door with a hammer as he went back in the house.
When police took him into custody, he told them he'd gone to the house to confront the woman and her family and broke in and waited for them to come home, Owen said.
A jury last month deliberated about three hours before finding him guilty of home invasion, aggravated stalking and aggravated assault.
Circuit Judge Chris Schmidt sentenced him Thursday as a habitual offender.
Owen said Beasley qualified for habitual offender status because he was convicted in felony drug and burglary cases from 2001 and 2008, and he showed his violent nature at the family's home.
Owen prosecuted the case with Assistant District Attorney Crosby Parker.