Jurors find Richard Beasley guilty of craigslist killings
Tina Kaufmann, newsnet5.com
11:09 PM, Mar 12, 2013
AKRON, Ohio - The man accused in a deadly plot to lure men with phony craigslist job offers and then rob them was found guilty of aggravated murder and could face the death penalty.
Richard Beasley, an ex-convict and one-time street preacher, was convicted by jurors Tuesday night of the crimes.
He was found guilty on 26 of the 26 charges he was facing. Here is a list of the charges:
- Nine counts of aggravated murder with * Gun specification * Multiple victims death specification * Aggravated robbery death specification * Kidnapping death specification * Under detention death specification - One count of attempted murder with a gun specification - Four counts of aggravated robbery with gun specifications - Four counts of kidnapping with gun specifications - Four counts of having weapons under disability - One count of identity fraud - One count of grand theft - Two counts of petty theft
Beasley killed three men and wounded a fourth by luring them with the fake farm job offers. The slain men were Ralph Geiger, 56, of Akron; David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Va.; and Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon.
Family members of victims hugged and wiped away tears as the verdict was read. Beasley was slumped in his wheelchair, which he uses because of back problems.
During the trial, Beasley claimed he knew nothing about the killings and was attacked by the lone survivor as retaliation for serving as a police informant.
Beasley's co-defendant Brogan Rafferty, 18, was convicted and sentenced last year to life in prison without parole. Rafferty was subpoenaed to testify against Beasley but the prosecution never called him to the stand.
Prosecutors said Beasley and Rafferty used the job postings as bait in a robbery plot aimed at down-on-their-luck victims with few family ties that might highlight their disappearance.