Man gets life in prison for beating Blount County father of 6 to death with baseball bat

By Carol Robinson

Ryan Hunter Farr

A 24-year-old man has pleaded guilty to capital murder in the baseball bat beating death of a Blount County father of six.

Ryan Hunter Farr entered his guilty plea Tuesday morning in the 2019 slaying of 35-year-old Adam Beard and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Beard was reported missing in September 2019, and his decomposing body was found the next day. Beard had been beaten to death and was wrapped in plastic inside a barrel behind a trailer in Blountsville.

Farr was one of four people charged in Beard’s brutal killing.

In December, 40-year-old Sara Burgess Moore pleaded guilty to felony murder and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Haley Ragsdale, 24, pleaded guilty to felony murder in July 2023 and was sentenced to 24 years in prison.

A trial date for Jesus “Jesse” Flores, 43, has not yet been announced.

“Mr. Beard’s family has been waiting a long time for this day to get here,’’ said Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey. “But this case is not over. We are still awaiting the trial of a co-defendant who has not accepted responsibility for his role in this offense.”

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Flores.

Beard’s mother on Sept. 2, 2019, filed a missing person’s report with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office.

Beard’s decomposing body was discovered Sept. 3, 2019, wrapped in plastic and in a barrel behind a home on Page Springs Road in Blountsville. He had sustained blunt force head and neck injuries.

Casey said the investigation into Beard’s death indicated that he had been robbed of personal items and his blue scooter.

The following day, on Tuesday, Blount County dispatchers received a call from a woman who said she had been told that a friend of hers – Beard – had been shot in the head, wrapped in carpet and stuffed in a barrel behind a trailer at “Sarah’s” on Page Springs Road in Blountsville.

That same day, lawmen went to the 1200 block of Page Springs Road. Once on the scene, they noticed a pungent odor and followed the smell until they found a barrel with a body inside.

Investigators then obtained a search warrant for the residence at 1276 Page Springs Road.

When they got inside, they spotted what appeared to be blood spatter in multiple spots on the trailer.

Also, a section of the carpet in the bedroom had been removed. A brownish-red stain was still visible where the carpet had been removed.

Sheriff’s detectives then interviewed Moore. She was read her rights and then told investigators her version of what had happened.

It would be one of several versions, court documents show, in which the suspects seemingly point the finger at each other in Beard’s slaying.

According to Moore’s statement, Beard came to her trailer to get a phone from Flores.

When he got inside, Flores and Farr began beating Beard in the head with a baseball bat. Moore told authorities she was in the bathroom but could hear Flores and Farr saying, “It’s my turn” and “give me the bat.”

They passed the bat back and forth.

After repeatedly striking Beard, Moore said, the men put a garbage bag over Beard’s head because he was still breathing and “he wouldn’t die.”

The men then tied him up and put the body under the trailer. Moore said Hunter and Flores took dope and money out of Beard’s pocket.

She said they cut the carpet up from the bedroom and tossed Beard’s cell phone into a field behind the trailer.

Beard, she said, had come to the trailer on a scooter. His helmet was found in Moore’s bedroom closet.

According to Moore, Hunter and Flores moved the body from under the trailer to the barrel.

Flores, also interviewed by detectives, initially said he was at Moore’s house drinking on Friday night only and that others – including Beard, Farr and Ragsdale – also were there. He said he had left.

After being confronted with evidence, Flores indicated that it was Hunter and Moore who killed Beard.

He said they were using drugs and Moore and Beard were arguing over who was going to pay Flores for the drugs.

Flores stated that Hunter hit Beard in the head with a bat, and that Moore got the shower curtain and wrapped Beard inside before tying him up.

In Farr’s interview, he said Flores killed Beard while he and Moore watched.

Detectives interviewed yet another man who said that Ragsdale had told him that she “had it done.” Ragsdale, when she was questioned, told investigators that Beard had “come at her sideways in the past.”

“Ragsdale indicated that they all were tired of Beard and were going to beat him up and take his drugs,’’ charging documents state. “On the night of the event, Beard had come by Ragsdale’s grandmother’s house and Ragsdale texted Moore and told her ‘if we are going to do it, we need to do it now.’’’