Suburbanite Staff Report
AKRON The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office announced Dec. 5 that it will prosecute Richard J. Beasley, and seek the death penalty, for the murder and attempted murder of the four victims of the so-called “Craigslist murders” in Noble and Summit Counties.
Suburbanite Staff Report
AKRON The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office announced Dec. 5 that it will prosecute Richard J. Beasley, and seek the death penalty, for the murder and attempted murder of the four victims of the so-called “Craigslist murders” in Noble and Summit Counties. The victims include a Jackson Township man.
The decision comes after discussions between Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh, Noble County Prosecuting Attorney Cliff Sickler, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorneys for the northern and southern districts of Ohio.
"In deciding where and how to try this case, our primary concern was doing what is in the best interest of the victims and their families,” Prosecutor Walsh said. “In trying the case in Summit County, we will ensure the surviving victim and the families of the other victims do not suffer through multiple lengthy trials and will provide a more convenient location for at least some of the families and the surviving victim.”
All of the criminal activity originated in Summit County. Additionally, most of the victims’ families have ties to the Stark and Summit County area. The prosecution will seek the death penalty against Beasley.
The Summit County Medical Examiner last week identified Timothy Kern, of Jackson Township, as one of Beasley’s alleged victims. The 47-year-old Kern was found in a shallow grave by Rolling Acres Mall. He was last seen alive Nov. 13, and told family members he had accepted a job offered on the Craigslist web site.
According to published reports, Kern’s family became alarmed when they didn’t hear from him.
The victims are said to have been offered a job at a remote farm in Noble County. One victim escaped with a gunshot wound to the arm and called for help.
The drug and prostitution charges for which Beasley was arraigned last week are moving forward as scheduled, according to the Summit Prosecutor's office. His next court appearance on those charges will be Dec. 22.
Sixteen-year-old Brogan Rafferty, of Stow, is facing juvenile charges in Noble County, in connection with the shooting of Craigslist victim Ralph Geiger, of Akron, who prosecutors said also responded to the ad. It is not yet known if Rafferty's prosecution will move to Summit County.