The owner of Mexican restaurant Vegan GreenGO has been charged with soliciting the murder of his ex-girlfriend, a judge and two Sheriff’s officials from County Jail.
On April 8, Tyler David Beerman was charged with 10 felony counts, including three counts of solicitation of murder, inducing false testimony by threat, and dissuading a witness.
“Defendant has while in custody, solicited the murder of his ex-girlfriend, a Sheriff’s Lieutenant, a Sheriff’s Detective and the judge previously presiding,” read a motion for restraints filed by Santa Barbara County Counsel Michael Ghizzoni on Nov. 14.
“He has also recently made statements about grabbing a sheriff’s taser while in court and wanting to be shot by deputies.”
Mr. Ghizzoni asked Mr. Beerman be restrained by leg shackles, handcuffs and a “black box” handcuff cover during his preliminary hearing and any other pre-trial appearances.
Mr. Beerman’s girlfriend and co-defendant, Gissel Castano Diaz, is charged with one count of solicitation of murder, dissuading a witness and destroying or concealing evidence.
In December 2018, Mr. Beerman and Ms. Diaz were charged with stalking Mr. Beerman’s ex-girlfriend. Judge Von Deroian conducted a preliminary hearing in the stalking case in March 2019. She recused herself from the case during an April 16 hearing.
According to a transcript of the hearing, Mr. Beerman’s attorney, Stephen Smith, admitted Mr. Beerman was caught on surveillance video at the house of a Sheriff’s deputy involved in the stalking case because he wanted to ask why he was arrested and wanted his record expunged.
On Sept. 3, Senior Deputy District Attorney Ben Ladinig filed a motion opposing Mr. Beerman’s release on bail in the murder solicitation case.
In that motion, Mr. Ladinig claimed that sometime before March 22 Mr. Beerman agreed to pay another inmate $20,000 to blow up his ex-girlfriend’s car with her inside. The inmate is referred to as confidential “Informant 1” in court documents.
“Beerman wanted (his ex-girlfriend) to get in the car, step on the break and an explosion to happen,” read the motion.
“(Informant 1) said that Beerman was upset because his girlfriend (Diaz) was also facing criminal charges and he ‘wanted something done.’”
The motion alleged Mr. Beerman agreed to give the informant, whose name is redacted from court documents, money for a hotel room at the Hotel Californian because his ex-girlfriend lived nearby.
Prosecutors say Mr. Beerman agreed to pay the informant $40,000 to “hit” the same lieutenant he visited in the stalking case and a detective he thought was in a relationship with his ex-girlfriend.
The informant convinced him to frame the lieutenant for rape instead of having him killed, but Mr. Beerman plotted to have the detective burned alive in a house fire.
The motion alleges when the informant was released from jail on March 22, he went to Vegan GreenGO to pick up money.
The informant claims Mr. Beerman’s business partner, Matthew Lutes, knew about the plot to blow up the car and tried to talk him out of it — but ultimately gave the informant $200 for the room at Hotel Californian.
The informant was rearrested on March 24. At that time, he told detectives about Mr. Beerman’s plans and the detectives outfitted him with a recording device and placed him in a cell next to Mr. Beerman so they could communicate.
Prosecutors say Mr. Beerman’s statements on the recordings corroborate the informant’s story.
According to the motion, on March 25, the informant and an undercover deputy met with Ms. Diaz at Vegan GreenGO. The informant claims she was aware of the plot to kill Mr. Beerman’s ex-girlfriend and confirmed a picture of the target car.
Ms. Diaz allegedly promised to pay $4,000 up front for the first murder.
On April 5, another jail inmate told deputies Mr. Beerman wanted to kill Judge Deroian.
“(Informant 2) reported that the previous day, Beerman had said ‘when I get out, I may need your help possibly tracking down a judge…I want to kill her,’” read the motion.
Mr. Beerman did not offer a specific amount of money, but Informant 2 claims Mr. Beerman offered to put him on his “payroll.”
Due to Judge Deroian’s recusal, Mr. Beerman’s case has been assigned to Judge Thomas Anderle.
He will appear with Ms. Diaz for a hearing on Jan. 15, 2020. Ms. Diaz is our on bail but Mr. Beerman is being held without bail.