AKRON, Ohio — Following three full days of testimony, jurors in the murder trial of Brogan Rafferty have found the Stow teenager guilty in the murders of three men and the attempted murder of another.
Rafferty, 17, 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.
His attorney, John Alexander, constantly referred to him 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 did not react to the verdicts when they were read on Tuesday and had nothing to say as he was escorted from the courtroom by deputies.
A court-imposed gag order prevented family members of the victims and prosecutors from commenting on the convictions.
During the trial, special prosecutor Emily Pelphrey, from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, told the jurors that Rafferty “made the choices that he wanted to make. He chose to get in that vehicle with Richard Beasley each time, chose to stay the night, chose to dig holes, chose to put bodies in those holes. He chose to do that over the course of august through November.”
Rafferty will be sentenced on Monday. He could get life in prison.
Beasley is scheduled for trial in January and could get a death sentence if he is convicted.
Click here for more on the case.