"Craiglist Killer" Richard Beasley was sentenced to death in Ohio Thursday before Summit County Judge Lynne Callahan after the jury concluded Beasley was guilty of kidnapping and killing three men and failing to murder another in 2011. Ohio law offered Craigslist Killer Richard Beasley one possible reprieve: Under Buckeye State law, if the jury convicts in a death penalty case, the judge has the option to instead order life in prison for the defendant.
Richard Beasley, 53, allegedly posted advertisements on the Craigslist website offering a $300 per week job as a farmhand in rural Ohio. When the three of the men, Timothy Kern of Massilon, Ohio, Ralph Geiger of Akron, Ohio, and David Pauley of Norfolk, Va., answered the offering they instead met their end at the hands of Beasley and his convicted co-conspirator Brogan Rafferty. Rafferty, 16 at the time of the incidents, was not eligible for the death penalty and instead sits in prison for life without parole as he awaits the results of his recent appeal.
Scott Davis, 49, of South Carolina came to Richard Beasley and Brogan Rafferty seeking the same work as the other three men. However, Davis managed to escape and was shot in the arm while fleeing. He told Beasley in court that he would "be there as you go, smiling," referring to Beasley's pending death at the hands of the state.
The bearded Beasley, sporting glasses and combed gray hair was comforted by his attorney Lawrence Whitney when the sentence recommendations was first announced by the jury. Reports said Richard Beasley thought of himself as a "street preacher" of sorts.
State Attorney General and former Senator Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, said he paid close attention to Richard Beasley's case and though there was no further evidence of additional victims, there is no way of knowing if there were actually more people who answered the doomed Craiglist post. Beasley's reiteration of his own proclaimed innocence accentuates this as if the court is correct and he is indeed guilty, he may never disclose further victims' identities.
"The case will be reversed!" Richard Beasley stammered as Callahan read his sentence. She cut him off as he was not allowed to comment on appeals at that time.
Carol Beasley, the Craigslist killer's mother was also in the courtroom and told reporters Richard Beasley suffered alleged physical and sexual abuse as a child, including beatings by a stepfather. A psychologist sanctioned by the state testified that the Craigslist killer suffers from depression, alcohol abuse and other emotional issues, though prosecutor Jonathan Baumoel called Beasley the "worst of the worst."