Attorneys in craigslist killings case argue over confessions of 17-year-old suspect Brogan Rafferty

Judge must decide if teen was coerced; read rights

AKRON, Ohio - Attorneys in the Noble County craigslist killings case argued over recorded statements made by 17-year-old Brogan Rafferty and whether the statements, which implicate him in some of the high profile crimes, should be allowed at his trial in Summit County.

During an interview recorded by a Noble County detective, Rafferty admitted to digging two graves -- one for David Pauley, of Virginia, who was killed, and a second for Scott Davis who survived a shooting.

"I dug the first hole for Mr. Pauley," Rafferty said during questioning at the Noble County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators said Davis was able to run away and get help after he was shot in the elbow.

On the recording, Rafferty was asked what he thought about Davis getting away.

"I thought it was good for him because he kept talking about having a family on the way down there. I thought it was bad for Rich (Richard Beasley) and probably bad for me, but good for him," Rafferty said.

WEB EXTRA: Click on the play button below to hear the 23:27 interview, courtesy of the Akron Beacon Journal :

Prosecutors have said four men were lured down to Noble County by Beasley, 52, and Rafferty through a bogus craigslist ad that promised work on a farm.

Investigators said Beasley pulled the trigger in all of the killings and he's facing multiples charges, including several counts of aggravated murder. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

In addition to Pauley, Timothy Kern and Ralph Geiger were murdered and buried. The bodies of Pauley and Geiger were found in Noble County.

Kern's body was discovered buried in a wooded area near Rolling Acres Mall in Akron.

At a hearing that continued on Friday, Rafferty's attorney, John Alexander, argued to Judge Lynne Callahan that Rafferty's statements made at three different locations should be suppressed.

Alexander said questioning by police of Rafferty in the principal's office at Stow High School should have stopped because he was only 16 years old, he was intimidated, and mentioned the word "attorney."

"During the conversation, Brogan had mentioned the word attorney five different times," Alexander said.

However, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jon Baumoel countered that Rafferty was read his Miranda Rights and was arrogant during interviews.

"The defense can call him a child and the defense can talk about his young age, but once again, we have the benefit of those tapes and we can hear how he responded," Baumoel said.

Alexander also argued that that Rafferty's former attorney coerced him into accepting a plea deal late last year.

"This man, who is supposed to be protecting his client, who is supposed to be looking out for his interest, did anything but," Alexander said.

But Baumoel said that former attorney knew that Rafferty had confessed to aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder, and that the offer by Noble County was "a sweetheart deal."

A month after Rafferty agreed to the plea deal, he backed out.

Judge Callahan will take the matter under advisement and make a ruling at a later date as to whether Rafferty's recordings can be used at trial.

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