Thursday, December 14, 2017

Ohio teen convicted in deadly Craigslist scheme

AKRON, Ohio — An Ohio teenager was found guilty of aggravated murder Tuesday for his role in a deadly plot to lure men desperate for work with phony Craigslist job offers.

Prosecutors in the weekslong trial painted Brogan Rafferty, 17, of Stow, as a quick student of violence and willing participant in three killings, while the defense argued he was acting under the duress of his alleged accomplice, a self-styled chaplain depicted as a mentor.

Authorities say Rafferty helped Richard Beasley of Akron lure four victims at separate times with bogus Craigslist job offers to a nonexistent cattle farm in rural Noble County in southeast Ohio; they say the motive was robbery. Authorities say Beasley shot and killed three of the men; the fourth victim was shot in the arm and survived.

Rafferty stood with his hands clasped behind his back and showed no emotion as the verdicts were read. His mother leaned over and cried softly.

Rafferty was tried as an adult but faces a maximum potential sentence of life in prison because he is a juvenile. His sentencing is set for Monday.

Beasley, 53, has pleaded not guilty and could face the death penalty if convicted at his separate trial.

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