Trial date set for teen in Craigslist murder case

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 23, 2012 2:28 PM
Trial date set for teen in Craigslist murder case

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - A judge set an October 9 trial date for an Ohio teen charged with the murder of one man and attempted murder of a second man who responded to a bogus Craigslist ad last year.

Brogan Rafferty, 17, was charged as an adult with the murder of David Pauley, 51, and the attempted murder of Scott Davis, 48, in a rural county east of Columbus. He pleaded not guilty to those charges last week in Summit County court in Akron.

Summit County Judge Lynne Callahan on Wednesday set the trial date for Rafferty.

Rafferty also faces murder charges as a juvenile in two other killings linked to Craigslist ads that could be moved to adult court. Rafferty was 16 years old at the time of the killings and ineligible for the death penalty under Ohio law.

Rafferty was initially charged in rural Noble County with the death of Pauley and the shooting of Davis, who escaped after being shot and contacted the local sheriff's department. The case was shifted later to Summit County.

Richard Beasley, 52, also has been charged with the killing of Pauley and attempted murder of Davis, who were from Virginia and North Carolina respectively, and the killing of Ohio residents Timothy Kern, 47, and Ralph Geiger, 56.

According to Beasley's indictment, Rafferty and Beasley met the men after they had answered a Craigslist ad promising a $300-a-week job as a caretaker for a ranch in Noble County, Ohio, that did not exist.

Prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty against Beasley, whose trial date could be set next week.

The killings were among a number of incidents across the nation where accused attackers apparently found their victims through ad postings on Craigslist or other social media sites.

In 2009, a former medical student was accused of killing a masseuse he met through Craigslist and police believe a serial killer, or killers, in the New York area may be preying on prostitutes who advertised on the site.

In other incidents, victims advertising goods for sale have been attacked and killed as have those responding to ads.

Two men in Tennessee earlier in February were accused of killing a man and a woman for "defriending" the daughter of one of the suspects on Facebook.

(Editing by David Bailey and Daniel Trotta)