Letters written by craigslist murder victims read in court during Richard Beasley trial

Other men testify about encounters with defendant

AKRON, Ohio - Letters written by men who were killed after responding to a craigslist advertisement were read in court during day three of Richard Beasley's murder trial.

The men seemed eager about a listing that offered a farmhand job on a sprawling, 688-acre property in Caldwell, Ohio.

That included Timothy Kern, of Massillon, who wrote an application letter through craigslist in 2011.

The letters were read to the jury by Corey Collins, a special agent with the FBI's cyber crimes task force.

"My name is Timothy, Tim Kern, and I just turned 47-years-old. I am single and reside in the Canton, Ohio area and I am completely available for your immediate relocation and ready for a new opportunity," he wrote.

David Pauley, of Virginia, also responded.

"If chosen, I will work hard to take care of your place and treat it like my own," Pauley wrote.

Prosecutors contend Kern and Pauley each met up with Beasley separately and were fatally shot. Kern's body was discovered in a shallow grave behind Rolling Acres Mall in Akron.

Pauley's remains were found buried in a wooded area in Noble County. A third man, Ralph Geiger, of Akron, was also shot to death and buried around the same area.

Beasley is charged with multiple counts of aggravated murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Scott Davis, of South Carolina, testified he traveled fom South Carolina to Southern Ohio and was shot in the elbow by Beasley. On Tuesday, Davis told the jury he thought he was "going to die." But he ran away and hid in the woods for seven hours before walking to a home for help.

Prosecutors called other men to the witness chair, who testified they also met with Beasley about the craigslist ad.

Daniel Dewitt said he was offered the job and the next day Beasley came to his home. Dewitt explained to the jurors that he grew suspicious because Beasley seemed interested in his vehicles.

"I said there's a lot of stuff that goes on, on craigslist, and I'm thinking, 'What if somebody is trying to get my vehicles and come down there, and then when I get down there, shoot me?"

Dewitt said he later got an e-mail that explained he no longer had the job.

David LeBland and George Brown both testified they met with a man at Chapel Hill Mall in Akron to discuss the job posting. Both identified Beasley as the man who interviewed them.

Brown said Beasley seemed to lose interest in him after he explained that he was a former security officer and knows martial arts.

Brogan Rafferty, 17, was found guilty by a jury on multiple counts, including aggravated murder, in connection with the killings. During his trial, he admitted to digging graves for the victims.

He was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole. Rafferty is on the prosecution's witness list for Beasley's trial.

The trial resumes on Thursday before Judge Lynne Callahan at Summit County Common Pleas Court.

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