A jury has recommended that Richard Beasley receive the death penalty.
The jury deliberated for slightly more than two hours following a one-day mitigation hearing.
“I appreciate and commend the jury for their hard work in listening to weeks of testimony, considering the evidence and then determining Mr. Beasley’s guilt and recommending he be put to death for his actions. That cannot have been easy, and I am certain they did not make these decisions lightly,” Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh said. “I would also like to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for conducting a thorough and exhaustive investigation and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Special Prosecution Division for joining my office in prosecuting both Beasley and his accomplice, Brogan Rafferty.”
Beasley, 53, of Yale Street in Akron, and his then-16-year-old accomplice, Brogan Rafferty, of Stow, lured unemployed men to Akron using an ad on Craigslist.
The ad offered a farm caretaker job in Noble County with a weekly salary of $300, housing and use of the property and vehicles on that property. Beasley and Rafferty shot four of the men who responded to the ad. Ralph Geiger, 56, of Akron; David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Va.; and Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon, all died and were buried in shallow graves.
Scott Davis, 48, of South Carolina, managed to escape and seek help at a nearby house.
“Richard Beasley was found guilty of committing very serious crimes, taking the lives of three innocent men who were simply looking for a new start in life, and injuring another,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “He is now going to be held accountable for his actions.”
“Beasley is a master manipulator. He manipulated his victims, and then he tried to manipulate the jurors into believing his incredible story of innocence and tales of woe in an effort to spare his life,” Walsh said. “I am glad that the jury was able to see through his lies and recommend an appropriate punishment.”
After considering the jury’s recommendation, Judge Lynne Callahan will sentence Beasley at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday.