Akron: Only surviving victim testifies in the Craigslist murder case

8:59 PM, Feb 26, 2013   |    comments
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AKRON -- The only surviving victim testified Tuesday about a plot using phony Craigslist ads to lure men to a secluded southern Ohio farm.

Richard Beasley, 53, is facing murder charges, among many others. Three men were killed and a fourth man was wounded. Scott Davis escaped and alerted authorities in 2011.

Davis testified Tuesday morning as to how he found the Craigslist job, communicating with a man named 'Jack.' He identified Beasley as 'Jack.'

He told the court he was scared for his life, as 'Jack' shot him while the two men and 'Jack's nephew', later identified as the already convicted co-defendant, Brogan Rafferty, were walking in the woods shortly after their meeting.

"I turned around to head back and I heard a curse word and a click," said Davis.

Davis said he spun around and was shot in the elbow, and heard three more rounds as he was running away.

He hid in the woods for seven hours before reaching a home to ask for help.

"I didn't think I was going to make it I was bleeding pretty bad. I thought I was going to die," said Davis.

John Schockling called 9-1-1 after Davis arrived at his mother's house, asking Noble County deputies to investigate.

He testified that Davis couldn't sit still, and kept talking about how he was being robbed.

"[He was] very nervous, of course shaken up," said Schockling. "Very scared."

Prosecutors argue Beasley placed that ad the victims to a farm hand job in Caldwell, Ohio.

The state began its testimony Tuesday. A physician, Dr. Michelle Moreno of Akron, testified that a man known as Ralph Geiger visited the Akron Community Resources Clinic twice requesting pain medicines in September of 2011.

Dr. Moreno said she felt the man had dyed his hair and beard.

Alex Hartke testified that he was a co-worker of 'Geiger' during the fall of 2011 at Waltco Lift Company. He identified the man he knew as 'Geiger' as Richard Beasley.

Lois Hood also testified. She's the wife of Jerry 'Country' Hood, a friend of Beasley's from the Brother's Motorcycle Club. The Hoods own farm property in Caldwell, Ohio, where the bodies of two victims were found.

Noble County Sheriff Stephen Hannum and a probation officer also testified.

Beasley could face the death penalty if convicted. Brogan Rafferty, too young to face the death penalty, already was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without chance of parole.

The trial is expected to last up to six weeks.


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