Stow teen Brogan Rafferty sentenced to life in prison for craigslist murders

Family members of victims speak at hearing

AKRON, Ohio - The teenager convicted for his role in the Ohio craigslist killings will serve the rest of his life in prison, a Summit County judge ruled Friday.

Brogan Rafferty, 17, of Stow, was hoping for leniency in the case. A jury convicted him of two dozen counts, including murder, kidnapping and robbery.

Four men were lured through a bogus craigslist ad, promising work on a southern Ohio farm.

David Pauley, of Virginia, Ralph Geiger, of Akron, and Timothy Kern, of Massillon, were shot, killed and buried. A fourth man, Scott Davis, of South Carolina was shot, but survived.

Family members of the victims spoke directly to Rafferty on Friday afternoon.

"You know nothing of remorse. You know nothing of shame. You know nothing of God," said Barbara Gray, Kern's sister.

"As Ralph's ashes sit in a box in my living room, I just wish that my 2-year-old daughter would have had more time to spend with her 'Baba' Ralph," said Summer Rowley, who considered Geiger a father figure.

Davis' sister, Lori Hildreth, read a letter written by Davis.

"You really are a cold-hearted and sick person with no regard of human life," Hildreth read.

During the court hearing, Rafferty's attorney, John Alexander, said Rafferty did have remorse for the murders.

"He couldn't sleep. Every night, he had nightmares of Richard Beasley killing him," said Alexander.

Alexander said Rafferty is willing to cooperate and testify against Richard Beasley.

"I believe he was a 16-year-old kid who simply didn't know how to get out of this situation," said Alexander while describing Rafferty as a confused kid who didn't know what to do.

Rafferty made a statement during the hearing, saying he's been thinking about the family members and how they've suffered, too.

"If I have been through hell... they (the relatives) must be living there," said Rafferty. "I was involved. I didn't like it. I wouldn't do if I had any other choice."

At the end, He quietly said to the judge, "I'm sorry."

Rafferty's sentencing was delayed after there was talk of a possible deal in which he'd testify against his co-defendant, 53-year-old Richard Beasley.

But Judge Lynne Callahan had little sympathy for Rafferty.

"The evidence in this case had you clearly intertwined with Mr. Beasley," said Callahan.

She said she took into account Rafferty's age, how he had no prior record and came from a broken home.

"You got dealt a lousy hand in life, but that's no excuse for murder," said Callahan. "You embraced the evil. You studied it."

Callahan went on to say, "It was cold, calculated, methodical execution of three human beings and nearly a fourth."

Beasley's case is expected to go to trial in January. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Rafferty was tried as an adult in the case, but was not eligible for the death penalty due to being younger than 18 years old.

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Reporter Bob Jones contributed to this story from the courtroom.

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