Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Former street preacher found guilty in Craigslist murder case

(Reuters) - An Ohio street preacher was found guilty on Tuesday of murdering three down-on-their-luck men who answered an ad for a non-existent job on Craigslist in 2011.

A jury deliberated for about 12 hours before returning the verdict against Richard Beasley, 53, who was accused of kidnapping and murdering David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Virginia; Ralph Geiger, 56, of Akron; and Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon, Ohio.

The jury convicted Beasley of aggravated murder and kidnapping in the deaths of all three men.

It also convicted him of the attempted murder of Scott Davis, who answered the Craigslist ad and was shot in the arm while escaping after meeting Beasley and his teenage accomplice, Brogan Rafferty.

Rafferty, 18, was tried as an adult and sentenced in November to life in prison without parole for his role in the deadly scheme. He was 16 years old at the time of the crimes and not subject to the death penalty.

The jurors, who got Beasley's case late on Monday, will reconvene on March 20 to consider whether to recommend the death penalty.
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