Second trial on Craiglist murders delayed until February

From Associated Press Published:

AKRON -- A murder trial has been delayed for an Akron man who prosecutors say lured his victims with phony Craigslist job offers.

Summit County court records showed the trial date for 53-year-old Richard James Beasley has been pushed to Feb. 19. It had been scheduled to start Jan. 7 in Akron.

The delay came after a change in lawyers for Beasley.

Beasley has pleaded not guilty to charges in a 27-count indictment. He is accused of the shooting deaths of three men and the wounding of a fourth who authorities say were lured to a rural area by bogus job ads on Craigslist. The victims were found in Noble and Summit counties.

Beasley could face the death penalty if convicted.

Brogan Rafferty, 17, of Stow, was sentenced to life in prison in November after being found guilty of assisting in the plot. He is serving his sentence in the Marion Correctional Institute.

A jury decided that Rafferty acted as an accomplice to his mentor, self-proclaimed chaplain Beasley. The teen was convicted of nine counts of aggravated murder, four counts of aggravated robbery, one count of attempted murder, four counts of kidnapping, two counts of grand theft, three counts of petty theft and one count of receiving stolen property. He was found not guilty of one count of identity theft.

His attorneys have filed an appeal; no court date has been set for the appeal.

According to Summit County Common Pleas Court, the county's jury commission was scheduled last month to draw 500 names to begin jury selection for Beasley's trial.

Beasley, who is also being held for non-related prostitution and trafficking charges, is not allowed to post bond and remains in the Summit County jail.

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