Murders in Ohio Began with “Craigslist” Ad

Murders in Ohio Began with “Craigslist” Ad

The trial of two men accused of murdering 3 men, and attempting to murder a 4th, continues in Akron, Ohio.

53 year old Richard Beasley has been accused of the murders of Ralph Geiger, 56, of Akron; David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Va.; and Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon.  He is also accused of the attempted murder of Scott Davis.

A second man, Brogan Rafferty, who was 17 at the time of the killings, has been tried and sentenced to life in prison.  He was underage and ineligible for the death penalty.

In 2011, Beasley placed an ad on “Craigslist” for a job on his farm about 60 miles east of Columbus.  He sought “down-on-their-luck” men who had few if any family ties, and therefore wouldn’t be missed.  He shot and killed them and took whatever valuables they possessed.

Beasley, a self-proclaimed preacher, claimed he was innocent and was actually the intended victim of Davis.  “I had no idea that somebody, anybody, had been killed down on that farm. I had no way to know,” Richard Beasley, 53, testified at his murder trial.  He said that Davis has been sent to kill him because he had been a police snitch against a motorcycle gang.

He said Davis pulled a gun first.  “It misfired three times about two feet from my face and I ran into the woods and he ran after me,” said Beasley, facing the jury and dressed in dark suit. He also claimed that the two wrestled on the muddy ground and Davis ended up firing six shots.

“I said, ‘That’s your six,’ so if he was going to kill me, he was going to have to do it with his hands,” Beasley testified.

Davis, who was also a witness against Rafferty, said he heard the click of a gun, brushed the gun away and was wounded in the arm.  He then ran into the woods.

Rafferty said he believed the crimes were horrible, but was unable to find a way to stop them.  He also said he feared that Beasley would kill him and his family if he went to the police.

If convicted, Beasley could receive the death penalty.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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