Akron: Jurors weigh death sentence in Craigslist murders

3:27 PM, Mar 20, 2013   |    comments
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AKRON --  Jurors who convicted Richard Beasley of killing three men lured with Craigslist job offers are now deliberating his sentence.

The jury returned Wednesday to decide on whether or not the death penalty is appropriate for Beasley, 53.

He was convicted last week of killing three men and wounding a fourth, all lured with offers of farmhand jobs in southeast Ohio. The survivor was wounded, fled into the woods and tipped off police.

Beasley's co-defendant, then 16 years old, was too young to face the death penalty. Brogan Rafferty was sentenced to life without chance of parole on his conviction last year.

Beasley testified that the survivor pulled a gun on him in retaliation for being a police informant.

Defense attorneys argue childhood abuse may have impacted Richard Beasley's personality and his ability to consider consequences.

His mother, Carol Beasley, testified that Richard Beasley was emotionally and physically abused by his adoptive, alcoholic father, Jim Beasley. She also reported Richard was sexually abused by neighborhood boys while growing up.

Dr. John Fabian, a forensic psychologist and neuropsychologist, testified to how these issues, as well as diagnosed ADHD and depression, may have impacted Beasley's life.

The state argued Dr. Fabian testified Beasley was highly intelligent and suffered from cognitive impairments due to alcohol abuse, lack of exercise and general poor health. Prosecutors asked jurors to consider if those impacts should be considered mitigating circumstances.

Jurors must decide between four sentences. They include life in prison with a chance of parole at 25 years, 30 years or no chance of parole. They can also sentence Beasley to death.

The jury will be sequestered until a sentence is reached.


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