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The Suburbanite
  • Summit takes lead on Craigslist case

  • Summit County prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against Craigslist murder suspect Richard J. Beasley.

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  • Summit County prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Craigslist murder suspect Richard J. Beasley.
    Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh made the announcement Monday, and her office confirmed that a Jackson Township man is among the victims in the case.
    Beasley, 52, of Akron, has yet to be charged in connection with the deaths of three men and the shooting of a fourth. But he and a Stow teen are suspected of using a Craigslist ad to lure the victims into what has been characterized as a deadly robbery scheme.
    Among the victims is 47-year-old Timothy Kern of Jackson Township, whose body was found in a shallow grave near Rolling Acres Mall in Akron on Nov. 25.
    Kern, who was last seen alive Nov. 13, had told family members that he had found a job on Craigslist that entailed watching over 680 acres of farmland in Noble County.
    The decision to prosecute Beasley in Summit County is the result of discussions between authorities in Summit and Noble counties, the Ohio Attorney General and federal prosecutors for the southern and northern districts of Ohio, Walsh’s office said.
    All of the criminal activity in the case originated in Summit County, and trying the case there will avoid multiple trials and provide a more convenient location for the victims’ families. Most of them have ties to Stark and Summit counties.
    Beasley is already in jail on drug and prostitution charges in Summit County. A call seeking comment was left for his attorney in that case.
    April Wiesner, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, said it’s too early to say whether Summit County will take over the case against the Stow teen.
    Brogan Rafferty, 16, is facing juvenile charges of aggravated murder, complicity to aggravated murder, attempted murder and complicity to attempted murder in Noble County.
    As a juvenile, he is not eligible for the death penalty.