Jury to resume deliberations Friday in Ohio Craigslist case
AKRON, Ohio — The case of a teenager accused of participating in the slayings of three men lured by phony Craigslist job offers went to a jury on Thursday, with prosecutors portraying him as a full accomplice in the crimes and his defense attorney arguing he was a scared child stuck in a horrible situation.
Defendant Brogan Rafferty faces life in prison without chance of parole if convicted of aggravated murder in the shooting deaths of the men last year. Two were killed in rural eastern Ohio and one was killed near Akron.
Rafferty, 17, has said his onetime mentor, Richard Beasley, had issued a veiled warning to keep quiet.
Beasley, who has pleaded not guilty and will be tried separately, could face the death penalty if convicted. As a juvenile, Rafferty can't be sentenced to death.
Jurors deliberated about two hours before leaving for the day. They were expected to resume first thing Friday.
In closing arguments Thursday, prosecutors portrayed Rafferty as someone who knew exactly what he was doing and ignored opportunities to go to police.
“Although Richard Beasley is a murderer and liar, he was brutally honest with one person. One person knew everything that he was doing. Just one. And that was Brogan Rafferty,” assistant Summit County prosecutor John Baumoel told jurors. “Brogan Rafferty knew each and every one of his dark secrets.”
Baumoel told jurors that the two were partners “in executing people out in the woods.”
He pointed jurors to Internet searches Rafferty did after the first slaying for the term “first kill” and “Sopranos' first whack,” referring to the TV show about a New Jersey mafia family. And he downplayed arguments the defense had made that Rafferty was the product of a tough childhood.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.