Brogan Rafferty is questioned by reporters following his probable cause hearing in Noble County on Nov. 29, 2011. (Photo: Scott Newell/WEWS)
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Richard Beasley and Brogan Rafferty
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Scott Newell/WEWS
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Scott Newell/WEWS
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Body found in shallow grave in Ohio
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Richard Beasley WEWS
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Richard Beasley WEWS
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Craigslist murder suspect Richard Beasley appears in a Summit County courtroom on Jan. 25, 2012. Photographer: Bob Seeley/WE23
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Brogan Rafferty, craigslist murder suspect, in court Feb. 17.
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Teen Craigslist suspect to have charges merged

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AKRON, Ohio - A 17-year-old charged in a deadly Craigslist robbery scheme has agreed to waive a hearing and have charges against him merged in adult felony court, his attorney said Monday.

Brogan Rafferty will waive his right to a hearing on being tried as an adult when he appears before a judge Wednesday in Akron, said his attorney, John Alexander.

Alexander said that would clear the way for juvenile court charges in the deaths of two men to be merged with adult charges originally from Noble County in the death of a third man and an attack on a fourth victim. Rafferty has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Rafferty is suspected of helping 52-year-old Richard Beasley, of Akron, lure victims with bogus Craigslist job offers.

Beasley, who has been described as a mentor to Rafferty, has pleaded not guilty and could face the death penalty if convicted. As a juvenile, Rafferty cannot.

Alexander said he decided to waive the hearing in order, for now, to keep out of the media certain information which he declined to specify. Alexander said there were no other advantages to the strategy.

There was no immediate comment from the Summit County prosecutor on the defense decision. A message was left Monday for the prosecutor's spokeswoman.

The charges stem from the deaths of Ralph Geiger, 56, of Akron; David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Va.; and Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon.

Authorities say the men answered Craigslist ads for work on a nonexistent cattle farm in rural Noble County in southeast Ohio.

The scheme targeted older, single, out-of-work men with backgrounds that made it unlikely their disappearances would be noticed right away, according to authorities.

Copyright Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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