AKRON, Ohio –The teenager found guilty last month in the murders of three men and the attempted murder of another has been sentenced to three life sentences without the possibility of parole.
17-year-old Brogan Rafferty is the first of two defendants to go to trial in the so-called “Craigslist Murders.”
During his two-week long trial, Rafferty himself testified that he helped drive victims to a farm in southern Ohio where they were killed, and then dug holes for their bodies and buried them.
During today’s sentencing, Rafferty told the court that actions speak louder than words. He said he agreed with prosecutors that this is his trial, not Mr.Beasley’s.
Rafferty said, “All these family members that came here today, they were victims of this. I have been thinking about this, they deserve to be recognized. I think of what they must have gone through and if I have gone through hell and back, they must be living there. I would just like to say that I was involved, I didn’t like it,…there were many options that I couldn’t see at the time. There is nothing I can do to make anything better and I am sorry.”
His attorney, John Alexander has referred to Brogan as a “child,”who cooperated in a scheme masterminded by co-defendant Richard Beasley, who lured his victims with help wanted advertisements, killed them, then divided their possessions between himself and Rafferty.
Alexander claimed that Rafferty cooperated with Beasley because he was afraid for his own life and the lives of his family members.
Jurors, however, convicted Rafferty as an adult on 24 counts, including multiple counts of aggravated murder, for the deaths of Ralph Geiger, of Akron, David Pauley, of Virginia, and Timothy Kern, of Massillon.
He was also found guilty on a charge of attempted murder for the shooting of Scott Davis, of South Carolina, who was the only survivor.
Jurors found Rafferty not guilty of only one charge of identity fraud.
Rafferty sentences follow a mandatory 12 years for all of the firearms specifications attached to the charges. He has the right to appeal.
Judge Lynne Callahan said during today’s sentencing, “It would not take a rocket scientist to know that this has been very emotional for everyone including me. I see a 17-year-old kid in front of me. I cannot reconcile what I have heard in this case. The state maintained that you were a full participant. Parents claimed you were under the spell of Richard Beasley. I certainly understand the position of your parents because placing the blame of Richard Beasley makes the pain more tolerable.”
Judge Callahan said she did take into account Rafferty’s age, the fact that he has had no prior record and that he came from a broken home.
She told Rafferty, “Kid, you got dealt a lousy hand in life, but none of that is an excuse for murder. You could have been so much more. You embraced the evil, continued with it. It was the cold calculated methodical execution of three people and could have been a fourth.”
Beasley is scheduled for trial in January and could get a death sentence if he is convicted.
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