Jurors in craigslist killer case deliberating whether Richard Beasley lives or dies
Bob Jones, newsnet5.com
11:46 AM, Mar 20, 2013
5:30 PM, Mar 20, 2013
AKRON, Ohio - Jurors are now deliberating the fate of craigslist killer Richard Beasley, deciding whether he will live or die.
The jury got the case around 2:30 p.m. after closing arguments wrapped up.
The jury of eight men and four women must decide if Beasley should get the death penalty or go to prison for life with or without the possibility of parole.
Defense attorneys tried convincing the panel of reasons for sparing Beasley's life. During opening statements of the penalty phase, Beasley's attorney, Larry Whitney, told the jury that witnesses, including his mother, will testify that Beasley had an abusive childhood.
"There was physical abuse. There was psychological abuse… it went on, and on and on," Whitney said. Whitney said that mitigating factors, including "disorganized attachment," outweigh the aggravated circumstances, and therefore, Beasley should not get a death sentence.
But prosecutors argued the brutal murders committed against three men deserve the ultimate price.
"They were easy targets because they were three men trying to make better lives for themselves," said Assistant County Prosecutor Jon Baumoel.
Beasley's mother, Carol, took the witness stand Wednesday morning.
"I love Richard with all my heart," she said.
Carol testified that she was physically abused by her second husband and that he was abusive towards Richard.
Carol said the adoptive father became furious and attacked Richard when he was 3-years-old because he was riding a tricycle in the house.
"He didn't stop quick enough and he took an extension cord and whipped him with it. It left marks on his legs," Carol testified.
Carol said Beasley also disclosed within the last year that he was sexually abused as a child by other boys.
Dr. John Matthew Fabian evaluated Beasley and testified that he has a combination personality disorder.
"One would be narcissistic personality traits and one would be anti-social personality treats," Dr. Fabian said.
But Fabian also acknowledged that Beasley's IQ is 115, which is high average.
During closing arguments, prosecutor Paul Scarsella, with the Ohio Attorney General's Office, said, "If you honestly, truly look at the evidence and follow the law, there is only one verdict and that's a death verdict."
Beasley's defense attorney told jurors to consider the abuse his client suffered as a child.
"That wasn't Richard Beasley's fault and I think it's a valid consideration in determining whether he should live or die," said Whitney.
Last week, a jury found Beasley guilty on all 26 counts, including multiple charges of aggravated murder.
Beasley lured men, down on their luck, through a craigslist ad that promised a job as a caretaker on a large farm in Noble County.
Ralph Geiger, of Akron, and David Pauley, of Va., were shot and buried in shallow graves in a wooded area in Caldwell, Ohio.
Timothy Kern, of Massillon, was shot and buried in a similar grave behind Rolling Acres Mall in Akron.
A fourth man, Scott Davis, of S.C., was shot by Beasley in Noble County, but he escaped and was a key witness against Beasley during the trial.