Prime suspect Richard Beasley charged in Ohio "Craigslist murders"

Richard J. Beasley
File,AP Photo/Summit County Sheriff Department

(CBS/AP) AKRON, Ohio - An Ohio man suspected in a deadly scheme to rob people who replied to a Craigslist job ad has been charged with multiple counts of aggravated murder, kidnapping and robbery, according to an indictment announced Friday.

Richard Beasley, 52, is accused of killing three men and wounding a fourth in August, October and November. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Beasley and 16-year-old Brogan Rafferty are accused of luring men to a farm in Noble County with a Craigslist ad that promising work.

Two men were killed and buried in shallow graves. A third man was shot, but managed to escape. The body of a fourth victim, 47-year-old Timothy Kern, found in a shallow grave in Akron behind Rolling Acres Mall.

According to the Summit County Prosecutor, Beasley was the shooter in all the killings, CBS affiliate WOIOreports.

Beasley, who has been jailed in Akron on unrelated prostitution and drug charges, has denied involvement in the Craigslist slayings. He was arrested in November after authorities linked him to the alleged plot.

Rafferty has already been charged with murder and attempted murder in the case and will be tried as an adult for his role in the killings. Beasley was reportedly a family friend and mentor to Rafferty.

Prosecutors would not speculate on a motive but Attorney General Mike DeWine said investigators are looking at "serial killings."

"Are there more bodies? We frankly do not know," DeWine said, appealing to people with any information about missing persons to come forward.

Complete coverage of the Ohio Craigslist murder case on Crimesider


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