To see more about the crimes Richard Beasley and Brogan Rafferty committed, click here to buy the Beacon Journal eBook The Craigslist Killings.
Last-minute negotiations have delayed the sentencing of Brogan Rafferty, who was convicted last week in the Craigslist killings of three men.
After more than an hour of closed-door talks between Summit County prosecutors and Rafferty’s attorneys, Monday’s sentencing hearing was delayed until Friday.
In court, Common Pleas Judge Lynne Callahan did not explain the delay. Attorneys on the case are bound by her long-standing gag order.
However, several sources close to the case say prosecutors are seeking Rafferty’s testimony against his co-defendant, Richard Beasley.
In order to secure Rafferty’s appearance, prosecutors are offering an extensive reduction to the sentence the Stow teen faces after his conviction last week in the murder, robbery and kidnapping of three men.
According to the sources, Rafferty, 17, is mulling an offer that would allow him to seek parole after serving 28 years in prison. He also would forfeit all appeals. In exchange, he would testify as a prosecution witness at Beasley’s trial in January.
Without an agreement, Callahan could craft a sentence into triple digits, meaning Rafferty probably would die in prison before he could seek parole.
Sources say the sentencing negotiations began Friday. The deal is similar to one offered to Rafferty a year ago, when he cooperated with investigators.
Rafferty had a proposed plea deal with Noble County prosecutors that would have allowed him to seek parole after serving 26 years in prison in exchange for his testimony against Beasley.
That deal fell apart for unknown reasons, and Rafferty was not offered a new deal when his case was transferred to Summit County. Instead, he went to trial.
Beasley, 53, is facing a potential death sentence if convicted for his alleged role in the Craigslist plot. Rafferty’s testimony would put Beasley behind the trigger of all three killings, something prosecutors currently lack in terms of eyewitness testimony.
Prosecutors contend Beasley created the bogus help-wanted advertisement last year to lure down-on-their-luck men to their death. The job listing promised a salary and place to live in rural Noble County.
Three men died and a fourth was shot during a three-month span between August and November 2011.
Ralph Geiger, 56, of Akron, was killed Aug. 9, 2011. His body was found in Noble County in November, the same day the body of Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon, was found in a wooded area near Rolling Acres Mall in southwest Akron.
Authorities believe Kern was killed Nov. 13 and David Pauley on Oct. 23.
The scheme did not come to the attention of law enforcement until Scott Davis, 48, of South Carolina, was shot Nov. 6 while touring the property.
Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or email@example.com.