A montage of Justin Beebe and Anna Gatlin
Publisher's Note: In September 2019 Justin Beebe's gunshot death was ruled a suicide, but in August 2021, Athens Clarke County police, saying they had reviewed evidence in the case, arrested Anna Gatlin, Beebe's fiancée on a charge of murder. When the case went to trial in January, the jury found Gatlin not guilty.
By Anna Gatlin
On September 18, 2019, at around 8:30 p.m. or so my fiancé Justin David Beebe took his own life in front of me.
I was talking to a friend out front, and Justin had had a very hard day, so bad in fact he threw his work phone and I quote, " if one more Tech calls with a stupid question because they can't do their jobs, I'm going to lose it." Well, he had lost it, but at the time I had no idea as to what extent.
I got a text from Justin while I was outside in front of the house. It stated, " I'm sorry, I'm worthless. Don’t come out here, just call the cops. I love you, Anna."
I had no idea what he meant, so I stopped talking to my friend and ran inside. All the lights were on, and my safe had been jimmied opened and my gun was gone.
I went running screaming for him, and when I got to the back porch, he was sitting in the chair with my 9mm on the railing. He wouldn't say anything. He just stood up, took two steps, and shot himself.
I was in absolute SHOCK. My mind didn't get time to wrap around what I saw, and that continued for years, four years in fact. So, I haven't even been able to grieve right because of all the unwanted attention.
If it weren't for amazing friends like Amber Bitton I wouldn't of made it through this. My friends were a major part of my support system. My family and close friends.
Anyway, I was screaming outside for Justin to wake up. The worst part is he was still alive but couldn't say or move or anything, so I picked his head up and held him, begging him to hang on and screaming at the cops to get the EMS there ASAP.
But it was too late. He looked at me, and I told him how much I loved him, then I watched the light that filled his face up with smiles and stories go quiet and drain from his eyes. I knew in my heart I had lost the love of my life.
For everyone that didn't know, we were private. We didn't want anyone causing drama, especially our exes. Justin proposed to me I said yes. We had our wedding date set already it was going to be on Valentine's Day 2020. He was already so excited he had picked out his band and mine. We both had loose ends to tie up with our exes, but we were happy, we were so emphatically happy for the first time in a long time. Both of us were able to just be ourselves, go on trips. Justin was very interested in my ghost hunting, so we even went to Savannah. We had been friends for a very long time, and we knew each other's secrets and kept them for each other.
Now, some people still make me out to be the bad guy. They want someone to blame, so they aimed their anger at me when I was completely innocent and still am.
Justin David Beebe and I were happier than anyone could imagine.
I've never seen him laugh so much, fall so hard and in love so deeply, and I've never had anyone love me like he loved me. What we had was real. It was so real that I got to know his family and when I was in New Jersey for his funeral, that tore what was left of my heart apart.
Justin was a good person. He was happy, but there were things that nobody knew that were not aired out to the public. There were some things that no one knew unless you were family, like his mother, sister, brother or me. We knew.
I finally had trial in January of 2022 after two back surgeries, and through the whole week my world spun around and around.
I was ACQUITTED on every charge. I was innocent and let go.
However, for 4 years after Justin took his life, three of which I was always either in hiding, being followed and not by civilians, and harassed or received death threats, I was always looking over my shoulder. I wore a mask everywhere just so no one could recognize me.
I was trying to stay under the radar, but the ACCPD had other ideas, especially one detective. Scott Black, who arrested me, had his sight set out for me. That's all it was, and he was so wrong that he couldn't see past his own tunnel vision to realize that!
I was so tired of hiding or always on watch just walking my dog I was followed and tried to be intimidated, threat calls were made to my MOTHER! I finally moved to get away from the harassment, NOBODY knows the truth but myself Justin and God. This is the TRUTH, Justin shot himself and I was trying to be pinned for it.
While I was FALSELY imprisoned for 21 days. I kept looking at my engagement ring and asking, "Why, why me...why?!"
As mad as I was, I was more hurt that Justin left me, left me fighting for my life. I fought my way back. I was ACQUITTED. That is the TRUTH. We very much loved each other, and we were happy.
I miss him every day and I love him to this day. There's not a day that goes by that I don't miss him.
That's my truth and that's the real story, not what some people decided to put together and call it the story. Although it is over, I have been slandered, threatened and harassed. It's enough.
The people that kept me from going even further down the rabbit hole were my friends. I have amazing friends, friends that were real friends, and not the fake ones on Facebook. It is fine that they dropped off because they were wrong and they're going to rethink that decision for the rest of their lives. But I have real friends and my support system was unbelievably strong. I have friends all over the United States doing what I do for a living and all of them were their supporting me. I came out of the nightmare stronger than ever.
That is the truth the only truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.