UK & World News
Craigslist Killer: Jury Wants Death Penalty
An Ohio jury has recommended the death penalty for a man convicted of killing three men he lured through bogus Craigslist job offers.
Richard Beasley, 53, was found guilty by the same jury last week of being the triggerman who killed two men from Ohio and a third from Virginia.
Judge Lynne Callahan said she will sentence Beasley on March 26.
It is within the judge's discretion to reduce his sentence to life in prison.
A fourth victim, from South Carolina, was shot but survived. He testified about running for his life and hiding in the woods, afraid he would bleed to death.
One man was killed near Akron, Ohio, and the others were shot at a rural southeast Ohio farm during fake job interviews.
Beasley's 18-year-old co-defendant, Brogan Rafferty, was convicted and sentenced last year to life in prison without chance of parole.
Rafferty was under 18 at the time of the crimes and was ineligible for the death penalty.
The teen had said he feared for his safety if he did not co-operate with Beasley.
The jury began deliberating on the sentence after testimony from witnesses, including Beasley's tearful mother, who pressed for leniency.
Carol Beasley said her son had a difficult childhood and suffered physical and sexual abuse.
"I love Richard with all my heart," she said.
Richard Beasley's victims were Ralph Geiger, 56, David Pauley, 51, and Timothy Kern, 47. Mr Kern's body was found in a shallow grave near an Ohio shopping mall.
The survivor, Scott Davis, testified that he heard the click of a gun as he walked in front of Beasley at the reputed job site.
Mr Davis, who was shot in an arm, knocked the weapon aside and managed to get away, hiding in the woods for seven hours.
It was his escape that led authorities to find Mr Pauley's body in the same area where Mr Davis was shot.
Beasley, who returned to Ohio from Texas in 2004 after serving several years in prison on a burglary conviction, testified that he met with Mr Davis and that Mr Davis was the one who pulled a gun.
Beasley's lawyers had said that investigators targeted him based only on a hunch and that the identity theft and robbery motives prosecutors offered were baseless.