Day 5: Brogan Rafferty taped interview played for jurors during craigslist phony job ad murder trial

Rafferty gives identity theft as possible motive

AKRON, Ohio - Prosecutors played a 20-minute taped interview with Brogan Rafferty from Nov. 16, 2011 at Stow High School, where he admitted making trips to southern Ohio with Richard Beasley.

He admitted he had breakfast with Scott Davis, a shooting survivor who was the first witness to testify at Rafferty's trial.

Rafferty said Beasley and Davis got into a argument while driving on a country road.

"Rich said, 'Drop us off.' So, they left. I kept driving," explained Rafferty. Eventually, Rafferty met back up with Beasley and Beasley said the other guy (Davis) had to leave.

At one point, one of the investigators asked Rafferty if he had an idea of the magnitude of what was happening.

"You're following up on an investigation of Rich Beasley?" Rafferty stated.

As questioning continued, Rafferty said he needed a lawyer there.

"I'll talk to you. I just want a lawyer present," Rafferty said.

That's where the interview stopped.

After the tape was played, the prosecutor asked Det. Jason Mackie, with the Noble County Sheriff's Department, about Rafferty's demeanor during the interview.

"He was arrogant. It seemed he had an exaggerated sense of his ability to control this investigation," Mackie said.

The investigators later went to Rafferty's home in Stow, where he was interviewed at length with his parents present.

During the second interview with Rafferty, jurors heard the teen tell investigators he drove to Noble County again with Beasley. This time, they met David Pauley, of Virginia, at a Bob Evans restaurant for breakfast.

Rafferty said Beasley and Pauley "discussed details of the job" working as a farm hand.

After eating, Rafferty said the three of them drove towards Caldwell and Beasley instructed him to pull over.

That's when Beasley and Pauley got out of the car. Rafferty said Beasley told him to park the car and wait. Beasley returned about 5-10 minutes later.

Rafferty said he never heard gunshots and Beasley didn't seem upset or nervous. Rafferty also said on Nov. 6, he returned to southern Ohio and met Scott Davis at a Shoney's restaurant in Marietta.

Rafferty said he dropped off Beasley and Davis near Caldwell.

During this portion of the questioning, detectives began to ask Rafferty if he dug graves.

One of the investigators told Rafferty that a grave that measured 7-feet long and 3-feet deep was found in the woods.

At first, Rafferty said, "I don't know about any graves." But as the interrogation continued, he was asked how many holes he dug.

Rafferty admitted he dug a 2-foot hole, but said he thought he was doing it to help drain water.

Part of the conversation unfolded this way:

Investigator: "Who told you to dig that hole?"
Rafferty: "Rich."
Investigator: "Did he offer to pay you to dig the hole?"
Rafferty: "He was putting gas in my car."
Investigators: "Was he giving you instructions?"
Rafferty: "Yes."

At one point during the interview, Rafferty's father interjects his thoughts about Beasley.

"Rich can disguise his feelings above and beyond normal...He's like a wanna-be criminal," Rafferty's father said.

In the third taped interview, Rafferty started to give specific details about the murder or Ralph Geiger of Akron.

Rafferty said was asked by Beasley to "murder this man and hide the body for him."

Rafferty admitted driving down from Akron to Caldwell with Geiger and Beasley. He said they walked into a wooded area where Beasley pulled out a pistol and shot Geiger in the head.

Rafferty said Beasley asked him to help drag Geiger's body, get a shovel out of the backseat of the car, and dig a hole that was about 4-feet deep.

"He had me help put the man, Mr. Geiger, into the hole," Rafferty said. The 17-year-old also gave detectives a possible motive, identity theft.

"He just said that he (Beasley) needed a new identity and this guy looked similar to him, and that he needed to somehow murder him," Rafferty said.

Rafferty told investigators that Beasley cut off Geiger's clothes with a knife after the murder and that Beasley sprayed bleach all around the area to make sure there wasn't any blood.

Rafferty was asked if he killed any of the men and he answered, "No."

"I didn't have any reason to," Rafferty said.

Prosecutors are expected to rest their case on Friday.

Continue to check for updates on the trial proceedings.

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