Craigslist Killer Guilty

Craigslist Killer Guilty

In a follow-up to last week’s story, Richard Beasley, a self-styled preacher was convicted of killing three men, and attempting to murder another in an Akron, Ohio court today.

Beasley lured two men to his farm with ads offering employment on Craigslist.  Two of the men were from Ohio and one from Norfolk, Va. A man from South Carolina was shot but survived and testified about running for his life and hiding in the woods, scared he would bleed to death.

Prosecution name Beasley as the “trigger man” in the plot.  His partner was Brogan Rafferty, age 16, who was convicted and sentenced last year to life in prison without the chance of parole.  A juvenile cannot face the death penalty under Ohio law.  The jury that convicted Beasley will return later to consider whether to recommend the death penalty for him.

Prosecutors said the victims, all down on their luck and with few family ties that might highlight their disappearances, were lured with offers of farmhand jobs.  One man was killed near Akron, and the others were shot at a southeast Ohio farm during bogus job interviews.

Scott Davis, the man who survived, told authorities he heard a “click”, and swung his arm to knock the gun away.  He was wounded in the arm, and fled into the woods.  Later, he led police back to the area where he was shot, and they discovered the first of three bodies.

Beasley claimed he shot him in self-defense after Davis’ gun misfired three times.  The jury didn’t “buy it”.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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