AKRON, Ohio - The Akron Civic Theater is a place to escape reality and be entertained. But on Tuesday, it will set the stage for a real-life courtroom drama.
Due to the high-profile nature of the case, known as the craigslist killings, Judge Lynne Callahan requested a larger space for the jury selection process. About 230 Summit County residents could be questioned.
The man on trial, 53-year-old Richard Beasley of Akron, could face the death penalty if convicted.
Beasley is accused of creating a bogus craigslist ad and luring men, down on their luck, to a job that promised work on a farm in southern Ohio.
Three men, Ralph Geiger, of Akron, David Pauley, of Norfolk Va., and Timothy Kern, of Massillon, were shot, killed and buried in shallow graves in 2011.
The bodies of Geiger and Pauley were found in Noble County. Kern was buried behind Rolling Acres Mall in Akron.
A fourth man, Scott Davis from S.C., was also shot, but survived.
Brogan Rafferty, a 17-year-old former Stow-Munroe Falls High School student, went on trial last October. He testified he dug graves for the victims and was too scared of Beasley to report the murders to anyone, including the police.
A jury found him guilty on several counts, including aggravated murder, and he's serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Rafferty is on the prosecution's witness list and could provide crucial testimony against Beasley. However, after opening statements, the first witness will likely be Davis.
During Rafferty's trial, Davis testified he was shot in the elbow, and then hid in a wooded area for several hours before seeking help at a nearby home in Noble County.
The trial could last several weeks.