AKRON, Ohio — The man considered to be the lone survivor of the so-called Craigslist killings testified on Tuesday that he thought he was going to die after he was shot in a wooded area of southern Ohio by a man he identified as Richard Beasley.
Scott Davis, who lived in South Carolina at the time, testified he applied for a job on Craigslist in 2011 hoping to be closer to his mother in Ohio.
Davis testified that he packed up some of his belongings including a motorcycle, a microwave oven and his tools in a trailer that he drove to Caldwell, Ohio, in November 2011, where he met with a man he knew as ‘Jack’, whom he believed to be his future employer.
Davis said he met Jack and a younger man whom he believed to be Jack’s nephew at a restaurant. After eating, all three then got in a white car and went for a 15 minute ride to a very scenic wooded area where he and Jack got out of the car.
After walking a distance into the woods, Davis says Jack wanted to turn around and go back toward the road to get some equipment.
Davis testified that after he turned around, “I heard a curse word and then a click.”
“The curse word stuck out to me because at this point I hadn’t heard one curse word from Jack in our telephone conversations, nothing in the emails, nothing for breakfast not one bad word period,” said Davis.
“What did you do when you heard that curse word and a click?” asked Prosecutor Emily Pelphrey.
“I spun around,” answered Davis.
“What did you see when you spun around?” asked the prosecutor.
“A gun,” said Davis.
Davis testified about the gun: “(It looked like it was coming back up for my head for a second try. I really can’t tell; it was coming back up for my head.”
“Who was holding that gun?” asked Pelphrey.
“Ah, Jack…actually…Mr. Beasley,” answered Davis, identifying Richard Beasley as the gunman.
Davis testified that the gun went off and he was shot in the elbow. He said he then started running through the woods, tripping and falling as more shots were fired at him.
He told the jury that he eventually found a hiding place in the woods where he stayed for seven hours while he was bleeding the entire time from his wound.
“I didn’t think I would make it. I was bleeding pretty bad. I thought I was going to die,” testified Davis.
Davis testified that he eventually made his way to a nearby home, where he felt safe and asked for help.
Earlier on Tuesday, prosecutors called Jeff Schockling to the witness stand.
Schockling, who lives in Canton, testified that he was in Caldwell, Ohio, visiting his mother in November of 2011 when the doorbell rang.
The area is very rural, and Schockling said that family members come and go from the house without even knocking at the door so his first thought was that the doorbell was a prank by a relative to see if anyone would actually get up and answer the door.
He testified that a nephew went to the door then came running through the house saying “Jeff, there’s a guy at the door. He’s been shot and he’s bleeding.”
Schockling testified that the man at the door identified himself as Scott Davis.
“He was holding his arm,” testified Schockling. “(Davis’) right side, pretty much from his elbow down, was bloody. His pants leg was also bloody.”
Prosecutors played a recorded 911 call Schockling made to the Noble County Sheriff’s office requesting assistance.
“…we just had a gentleman come to our front door, said he’s been shot…” Shockling told dispatchers on the 911 call.
Schockling testified that after deputies arrived, they carefully removed Davis’ bloody blue jean jacket.
“He was in extreme pain at the time,” Schockling testified of their unexpected visitor.
“How was he acting this entire time?” asked Prosecutor Emily Pelphrey.
“Very nervous, of course, shaken up,” answered Schockling. “I remember he had a pale, white face, very scared. He was very fidgety, didn’t want to sit down, just pacing,” he continued.
“He said that he actually applied for this job for fence building; he was like rambling,” said Schockling, telling the court that he realized what he was hearing was very serious and he started to think the less he knew the better.
Schockling said Davis was telling just bits and pieces about his experience.
“He kept on mentioning, repeated two or three times, I know they are going to rob me, I know they are going to rob me,” he testified.
Beasley is accused of murdering three other men who he lured to Caldwell, Ohio, with a help wanted ad he placed on Craigslist.
In their opening arguments on Monday, Beasley’s defense attorneys told the jury that there was a violent confrontation between Davis and Beasley in the woods but suggested that it was Davis who attacked Beasley.
No such accusation was ever made during Davis’ testimony on Tuesday.
Beasley’s trial is expected to last well into March.
If he is convicted, he could get a death sentence.
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