Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 19, 2013

2nd Ohio man facing trial in Craigslist killings


Associated Press

AKRON, Ohio ( — Jury selection has begun in the Ohio trial of the alleged mastermind of a deadly plot to lure robbery victims with phony Craigslist job offers, killing three men and wounding a fourth.

More than 200 prospective jurors gathered Tuesday in the ornate Akron Civic Theater because there was no courthouse room big enough.

Judge Lynne Callahan told prospective jurors that jury selection in the murder trial of 53-year-old Richard Beasley could extend into next week and the trial could last six weeks. He could face the death penalty.

Prosecutors have portrayed Beasley as an ex-con street preacher in Akron and mentor to a teenager convicted in the plot.

Co-defendant Brogan Rafferty, who was then 17, was sentenced to life in prison in November after being found guilty in the plot.