A Summit County judge has upheld a jury's verdict, sentencing craigslist killer Richard Beasley to death.
AKRON, Ohio - The trial is underway for Brogan Rafferty, the local teen accused in the so-called craigslist murder case. Prosecutors claim Rafferty, along with Richard Beasley, lured job seekers through craigslist, then killed three of them.
The first witness to testify Friday morning was Scott Davis, the sole survivor of the attacks.
He drove up from South Carolina to southern Ohio after finding the craigslist posting that promised $300 a week to take care of cattle on a farm.
He said he met with a man named "Jack" and his nephew.
Prosecutors said they believe those two men were actually Beasley and Rafferty.
Davis testified he knew something was wrong after he walked into the woods with "Jack" behind him. "I heard a cuss word and a gun cock," Davis told jurors.
Davis was shot in the elbow, then ran off, tripping several times, all while being shot at. Davis escaped, then hid in the woods for seven hours before getting help.
Davis testified, "I hid down in a creek bed up underneath a tree."
During opening statements, a special prosecutor told a Summit County jury that Rafferty, 17, was "a student in the art of robbery, deception and murder" who had multiple chances to get away from plots to kill men, down on their luck, but made choices to commit vicious crimes anyway.
Emily Pelphrey, from the Ohio Attorney General's Office, also told the jury about the three men who were murdered after responding to a bogus craigslist ad for a job offering work on a farm in southern Ohio.
"All of them were looking for their new shot. They were looking for the light at the end of the tunnel," Pelphrey said.
Rafferty is facing multiple charges including aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping.
The state contends Rafferty dug graves for some of the victims.
"He chose to put those bodies in the holes. He was the driver. He was the hole digger," Pelphrey said.
Pelphrey also detailed how the lone survivor, Scott Davis, was shot and hid in the woods for seven hours before running to a home for help.
"You're going to hear his horrific ordeal," Pelphrey said.
However, John Alexander, Rafferty's attorney, argued that Rafferty committed crimes under duress from Richard Beasley, and told the jury that Rafferty should be found not guilty.
"The question that you're going to have to ask is, why was this 16-year-old kid…. involved in these heinous acts?" Alexander said.
Prosecutors have said that Beasley was the triggerman in all of the shootings.
Alexander said Beasley was supposed to be a mentor to Rafferty, but actually was a "wolf in sheep's clothing."
"There is a monster in this case… but that monster is not Brogan Rafferty. The monster in this case is a man named Richard Beasley," Alexander said.
Two of the victims, Ralph Geiger, 56, of Akron and David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Va., were shot and buried in Noble County.
A third man, Timothy Kern, 47, of Jackson Township was shot and buried behind Rolling Acres Mall in Akron.
Keep checking newsnet5.com for the latest on this case.
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.