Text messages sent by victim to son read to jurors in Richard Beasley craigslist killings trial

AKRON, Ohio - Jurors in the craigslist killings trial were shown the last text messages sent by Timothy Kern, one of the men shot and killed allegedly by Richard Beasley.

In a text to his son, Nicholas, sent Nov. 13, 2011, Timothy typed, "Well son, I'm about to go. I will miss you. In long run this will be better. I'll be up a lot and you and your friends can come visit when you can. You are very special."

The text ended with, "Meantime remember how much I love you!!!!"

The text messages were read by Allan Buxton, a computer forensics specialist with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, who captured several screen shots of Kern's phone. Investigators believe Kern was murdered hours after he sent that text to his son.

Surveillance video, shown to the jury last Friday, appeared to show Kern meeting with Beasley at a Waffle House in Springfield Township. Kern's body was found buried in a shallow grave behind Rolling Acres Mall in Akron. His phone was found on him.

Buxton also testified about several computers that he analyzed as part of the investigation. He said a laptop seized from a Gridley Avenue home, where Beasley was living, contained an advertisement on the website backpage.com that appeared to be linked to a fake job scheme.

"I found an ad that appeared to match the description of a handyman position in southeast Ohio," Buxton explained to the jurors.

The ad indicated, "This could be the job of a lifetime for someone who likes seclusion and privacy. If you cannot handle being a mile from your neighbor, this is not the job for you."

Prosecutors contend men were lured through a similar bogus ad on craigslist that promised a job as a caretaker on a farm in Noble County.

Beasley is charged with several counts of aggravated murder for the deaths of Kern, David Pauley and Ralph Geiger.

He was arrested on November 16, 2011 in Akron.

Beasley was taken to an FBI office where he was interviewed briefly. Beasley can be heard on the audio tape repeatedly asking what he was being charged with.

When an FBI agent pressed him for information on the investigation, Beasley gave the name and number of his attorney.

"I'm saying that if you're going to be questioning, I would like an attorney present," Beasley said.

The jury of eight men and four women was also shown a video of the rural, wooded area where the bodies of Pauley and Geiger were unearthed.

If convicted, Beasley could get the death penalty.

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