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 Press: Restaurateur Murdered

Oxford Eagle Monday, January 04, 2010
Local Restaurateur Devlin Beauchamp Murdered

Staff Writer

Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department deputies were called to the 702 North Lamar residence of Devlin Beauchamp late Sunday morning to investigate the apparent murder of the Home Plate barbecue restaurant owner.

Officials say the deputies responded to a 911 call from Home Plate business partner, Carl Dixon, at approximately 11:20 a.m. When Mr. Beauchamp did not appear at work when expected and after repeated calls by restaurant employees, Mr. Dixon went to his partner's house where he discovered the body.

Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer Elizabeth Jones said in a prepared statement that Devlin Beauchamp's body was discovered in the bathtub of the master suite. While the coroner is still completing the autopsy, initial indications are that Mr. Beauchamp was killed by blunt force trauma to the skull. Answering questions by reporters, PIO Jones said that there was a large amount of blood in and around the bathtub. There were no signs of forced entry or attempts at burglary.

Jones declined to comment on whether the police have any leads in the case or any suspects in the murder.

Home Plate employees said that it was well known that Mr. Beauchamp often recorded his day's events in his journal while relaxing in the bathtub at night. One employee stated that Mr. Beauchamp felt very strongly that one should record life's events for growth and reflection. Public Information Officer Jones refused to answer questions from reporters concerning the contents or current location of Mr. Beauchamp's journal.

Devlin Beauchamp, 41, was known around Oxford for his love of baseball in addition to his restaurant. In high school, Mr. Beauchamp was a highly recruited third baseman and clean up hitter for Oxford High School. However, a drastically torn anterior cruciate ligament injury during the playoffs his senior year and the time lost to rehabilitation effectively ended his competitive baseball career. For many years, Mr. Beauchamp pursued his passion for the game with his winning Home Plate softball team in the Yoknapatawpha Chamber of Commerce Coed Softball League.

The Home Plate restaurant on 1404 University Avenue was closed Sunday with a black ribbon over the door and a wreath placed on the steps. Carl Dixon told the Oxford Eagle that he was "greatly saddened and upset by the loss" of Mr. Beauchamp. "Not only have we lost a great restaurateur, we've lost a great friend," Mr. Dixon said. Although there are unconfirmed reports of heated arguments between the two Home Plate partners, Mr. Dixon seemed genuinely shaken at Mr. Beauchamp's murder. The future of the Home Plate restaurant is unknown at this time.

Funeral arrangements for Mr. Beauchamp have not been completed and will be released later.