A Summit County judge has upheld a jury's verdict, sentencing craigslist killer Richard Beasley to death.
AKRON, Ohio - Richard Beasley, the man accused of creating a fake craigslist ad and then luring three men to their deaths, told the jury he's not responsible for the high-profile crimes that gained national attention.
"I had no idea that somebody, anybody, had been killed down on that farm. I had no way to know," Beasley testified.
Beasley admitted that he met with one of the victims, Scott Davis, but claimed Davis pulled a revolver on him.
"It misfired three times about two feet from my face and I ran into the woods and he ran after me," Beasley said. He also claimed that the two wrestled on the muddy ground and Davis ended up firing six shots.
"I said, ‘That's your six,' so if he was going to kill me, he was going to have to do it with his hands," Beasley explained.
Beasley told jurors he didn't tell police about the shooting because he had a warrant out for his arrest in Texas and didn't want go back to jail.
Prosecutors believe Beasley is making up an elaborate story to cover for the crimes.
Davis testified during the trial that Beasley shot him in the elbow in a wooded area in Caldwell, Ohio. Davis was in the area because he responded to a craigslist ad that promised a job as a caretaker on a 688-acre farm.
During a sometimes heated cross-examination, a prosecutor John Baumoel accused Beasley of killing another one of the victims, Ralph Geiger.
Beasley raised his voice and quickly shot back, "You're a liar. I did not do that and you didn't see it and nobody testified to that in this court. It didn't happen."
After Beasley was arrested in Akron, he asked the FBI what he was being charged with during a brief
taped interview. Beasley eventually asked for an attorney and the interview stopped
"I thought I was arrested on the warrant out of Texas," Beasley said during his testimony on Wednesday.
Beasley also claimed that Ralph Geiger was his friend and that Geiger gave him his driver's license and social security cards so Beasley could assume Geiger's identity and avoid detection from the authorities.
"I thought I was comfortable and secure living under the name Ralph Geiger," Beasley said.
During cross examination, Baumoel seized on that portion of Beasley's testimony with the following exchange:
Prosecutor: "The only person who benefited from his death was you Richard Beasley, correct?
Beasley: "I have no idea who else benefited from his death."
Prosecutor: "You benefited. You had his ID."
Beasley: "That's not what you asked me. You asked me..."
Prosecutor: "Did you benefit?"
Beasley: "Several people probably benefited."
Prosecutor: "Did you benefit?"
Beasley: "Among others."
On Tuesday, the prosecution called several experts from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to the stand. Blood stains from Beasley's leather jacket were tested, but there was not enough DNA to identify their source.
Investigators said Beasley and 17-year-old Brogan Rafferty of Stow killed three men and wounded a fourth after the victims responded to job ads on craigslist.
Geiger, of Akron, and David Pauley, of Virginia, were found buried in shallow graves in Noble County. Timothy Kern, of Massillon, was buried in a similar grave behind Rolling Acres Mall in Akron.
Rafferty was found guilty last year and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.
If convicted of aggravated murder, Beasley could face the death penalty.
The prosecution rested their case Wednesday morning. The defense is expected to rest on Thursday. Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday.
NewsChannel5 has a crew in the courtroom. Keep checking newsnet5.com for more information.
A triple killer who lured victims with bogus job offers on Craigslist faced a possible death sentence before an Ohio judge deciding his punishment.
A Summit County judge has rescheduled craigslist killer Richard Beasley sentencing.
A judge in Ohio must make a life-or-death decision in sentencing a self-styled street preacher for the murders of three down-and-out men lured by Craigslist job offers. You can watch a live stream on newsnet5.com or app.
Jurors have recommended that Richard Beasley, the man convicted of murdering men by luring them with a phony craigslist job ad, die for the crimes.
Life or death? Jurors will reveal at 6 p.m. whether craigslist killer Richard Beasley will live or die.
Jurors are now deliberating the fate of craigslist killer Richard Beasley, deciding whether he will live or die.
The sentencing phase begins on Wednesday for the Akron man convicted of killing three after luring them with fake craigslist job postings.
The mother of convicted murderer Richard Beasley thought he would be found innocent in the craigslist murder case.
A self-styled street preacher 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.