Convicted "Craigslist Killer" Richard Beasley is being sent to Ohio's Death Row.
The Akron man was sentenced Thursday in Summit County Common Pleas Court. Judge Lynne Callahan told Beasley, 53, the mitigating circumstances were not enough to convince the court to reject a jury's recommendation that he be executed. Callahan could have opted for a life prison sentence.
Beasley was convicted in the murders of Ralph Geiger, Timothy Kern and David Pauley and the attempted murder of Scott Davis. All were lured to meet Beasley by responding to help wanted ads on Craigslist.
Family members of the victims scolded Beasley in open court for murdering their loved ones and showing no remorse.
Davis called Beasley an "animal" and offered an emotional recall of the hours that followed him being shot by "that beast." Davis hid in the woods for seven hours before running for help.
"I will be there if you get the death, smiling, with last words, 'you'll remember this face,'" said Davis.
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(Summit County Prosecutor) Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced that Judge Lynne Callahan sentenced Richard Beasley, 53, of Yale Street in Akron, to death.
“Richard Beasley is a cold-blooded manipulator with zero regard for human life,” said Prosecutor Walsh. “Beasley has shown no remorse and would likely still be preying on men who were seeking a better life. It is never a joyous occasion when someone is sentenced to die, but in this case, the death penalty is the most appropriate sentence.”
Beasley 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.
“We are pleased to see justice done in both of these cases, which came as a result of great collaboration between local, state, and federal law enforcement officers, as well as our special prosecutors in partnership with the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office,” said Attorney General DeWine.
“While nothing can erase what happened to Scott Davis, Ralph Geiger, Timothy Kern and David Pauley, I hope that their families and Mr. Davis can now find some measure of peace,” said Prosecutor Walsh.
A jury recommended Beasley be sentenced to death after finding him guilty of:
Nine counts of Aggravated Murder with
Multiple victims death specification
Aggravated robbery death specification
Kidnapping death specification
Under detention death specification
One count of Attempted Murder with a gun specification,
Four counts of Aggravated Robbery with gun specifications,
Four counts of Kidnapping with gun specifications,
Four counts of Having Weapons Under Disability,
One count of Identity Fraud
Two counts of Grand Theft, and
Two counts of Petty Theft.
Judge Callahan sentenced Rafferty to life in prison without parole eligibility after a jury found him guilty of:
Nine counts of Aggravated Murder with firearm specifications;
One count of Attempted Murder with a firearm specification;
Four counts of Aggravated Robbery, a felony of the first degree, with firearm specifications;
Four counts of Kidnapping, a felony of the first degree;
Once count of Grand Theft, a felony of the third degree;
Once count of Grand Theft, a felony of the fourth degree;
Receiving Stolen Property, a felony of the fourth degree; and
Three counts of Petty Theft, a misdemeanor of the first degree.