Before killing his ex-wife, a man allegedly shot and killed a homeless person as "practice."

Before killing his ex-wife, a man allegedly shot and killed a homeless person as "practice."

According to The Daily Chronicle, a man in Washington State allegedly shot and killed a homeless person as practice before fatally shooting his ex-wife.

Nathan Beal, 36, has been held on a $1 million bond since being charged with premeditated murder in September for allegedly killing his former wife, Mary Schaffer, in August.

However, authorities claim that Beal shot and killed a homeless man several blocks away months earlier, in April 2020.

According to The Spokesman-Review, both Beal's ex-wife and the homeless man, Andrew Bull, were shot in the head, and investigators have linked shell casings from both killings to a gun found in Beal's Spokane home.

Prosecutors claim a jailhouse informant told them Beal shot Bull for "practice" and because he was "curious."

Beal allegedly took his two children to a homeless encampment several months before the slayings and made comments about killing people there, according to The Daily Chronicle.

“We believe the killing was done as practice by Mr. Beal,” prosecutor Dale Nagy said in court on Friday, according to The Daily Chronicle.

Stephanie Cady, Beal’s public defender, told the court that the informant is “very likely not a credible witness” because he has a “significant criminal history.”

Judge Michelle Szambelan ruled that the two cases should not be tried together because prosecutors had not provided sufficient evidence linking the two deaths.

Schaffer had driven all the way from Oregon to pick up the children, who had spent the summer with their father. The couple had been divorced for years, and Schaffer expressed concerns that she was afraid of her ex-husband, who had previously threatened her life.

According to Buzzfeed News, Schaffer asked police to accompany her to retrieve the children, but police told her that they "don't get involved in matters of family law," though a police spokesperson told Buzzfeed that he was unaware Schaffer had made a request.

Beal is said to have openly expressed his desire for Schaffer's death because he believed a brain injury had rendered his ex-wife "insane," according to KHQ-TV. According to the television station, he once stated that he planned to save $3,000 to hire someone to murder her.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to raise funds for Schaffer's children.