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Courts and Crime

Jury recommends death for Akron Craigslist killer
Summit County judge will sentence Richard Beasley on Tuesday

Kabir Bhatia
In The Region:
UPDATE 6:30: Jurors returned shortly after 6 p.m. with the death penalty recommendation.

Jurors in a Summit County courtroom are deciding if the man convicted of masterminding the so-called “Craigslist killings" should be sentenced to death.

As an alternative, 53-year-old Richard Beasley of Akron could receive  life in prison without parole in the triple-murder case. 

Earlier today, psychologist John Fabian testified for the defense in an attempt to spare Beasley's life. Fabian said Beasley suffers from depression, alcohol abuse, low self-esteem and a feeling of isolation, all possible results of a troubled, abusive childhood.
Jury deciding Craigslist killer's fate

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“And he witnessed his mother being physically [and] emotionally abused by his stepfather as well. So [it was] an early initiation of abuse and trauma. He experienced it. He witnessed it. It's varied and it's for a long period of time. That has more of a negative outcome for developmental failure. So it could be mental illness. It could be risk for unemployment, substance abuse, criminality, etc.”

Beasley placed job ads on Craigslist to lure men to a southern Ohio farm, then to rob and kill them. The co-defendant in the case, then 16-years-old, was too young to face the death penalty. Brogan Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole.

Richard Beasley was found guilty of these charges on March 12th:
  • Nine counts of Aggravated Murder with
    • Gun specification
    • 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.
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