December 21, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
25°F
 

Ohio AG: No deal for teen in Craigslist killings

By Thomas J. Sheeran

CLEVELAND — No deal has been struck for leniency for a teenager convicted in a deadly plot to lure men with phony Craigslist job offers, Ohio’s attorney general said Thursday.

The sentencing in Akron for Brogan Rafferty, 17, was postponed until Friday and his mother said earlier that a deal in return for his cooperation against the alleged triggerman was under discussion.

Because of a gag order, Attorney General Mike DeWine wouldn’t comment on the sentencing except to tell The Associated Press on Thursday that there was no sentencing deal. He made no mention of any continuing talks to strike a deal.

There was no comment from the defense.

The teen was convicted last week of killing three men and trying to kill a fourth, who was shot but survived.

Judge Lynne Callahan postponed the sentencing during a brief court session Monday but offered no explanation. The postponement came after prosecutors, including attorneys from DeWine’s office, and defense attorneys met privately in the judge’s chambers.

Rafferty could face up to life in prison without chance of parole but his cooperation against Richard Beasley, 53, could give him a chance for freedom at some point — perhaps in 20 or 30 years.

Beasley, described as the teen’s spiritual mentor, has pleaded not guilty and faces a Jan. 7 trial.

Prosecutors say the victims, all down in their luck and with few family ties that might highlight their disappearance, were lured with phony offers of farmhand jobs on Craigslist last year.

Rafferty, a high school student from Stow near Akron, was tried as an adult but didn’t face a possible death penalty because he is a juvenile.

Beasley, an ex-convict and self-styled street minister from Akron, could face the death penalty if convicted.