LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man who pleaded guilty to murdering his girlfriend nearly three years ago was sentenced in Clark County District Court on Wednesday.
Philip O’Reilly, 37, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. O’Reilly offered no apology and no statement at the sentencing. He accepted a plea deal in April to avoid the death penalty and also agreed to tell police the location of his girlfriend’s body.
Cherllyn Beardall, 34, the mother of three children, was reported missing in July 2020.
According to court documents, O’Reilly killed Beardall by beating her with his hands and a dog leash. Beardall’s two children, a 14-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy witnessed and heard the beating. The boy was asked to bring O’Reilly the dog leash used to beat his mother.
Beardall’s mother spoke of the pain of losing her child.
“What gives this grieving mother light at the end of a very dark tunnel is that he will not get out of prison,” Susanne Beardall said.
Achilles Simpson, Beardall’s son, talked about the trauma he and his sisters experienced.
O’Reilly claimed that he dismembered Beardall’s remains and disposed of them in various locations. Susanne Beardall revealed in court that she does not believe that O’Reilly told the truth.
“It’s heartbreaking that the memories I have of her are stripped away because all we can remember is the terrible pain that we had to tolerate,” Simpson said.
Before the plea deal, O’Reilly was also facing charges in a “murder for hire” plot to kill four members of the Beardall’s family allegedly. Two of the targeted individuals were children. Jessica Knuutila, one of the targets who now cares for Beardall’s three children also provided a victim impact statement.
“It was a very surreal moment in my life. Part of me wasn’t surprised as he had put us through a rollercoaster since he has entered our lives but the other side of me was scared for us, especially the children,” Knuutila said. She also read a victim impact statement from the five-year-old daughter of Beardall who is also O’Reilly’s biological child.
“She missed my kindergarten graduation, my first day of school,” Knuutila read. “Philip killed my mommy Cherllyn. He took her away from us. I miss her everyday. Not being happy everyday. I am always crying.”
O’Reilly was also charged with sex crimes against children and child abuse. Those charges were dropped as a result of the plea deal.
“I want him to always stay in jail forever so he can’t kill anymore people, so he can’t hurt me anymore,” Knuutila read on behalf of the child.
If you or a loved one are experiencing domestic violence, help is available. To reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline, call 800-799-7233. For a list of local and state resources for domestic violence and abuse victims, visit this link.