Ohio.com staff

Editor’s note: The editor's pick for the top story of 2012 in Stow is the Brogan Rafferty trial.

Stow teen sentenced to life in prison for Craigslist killings

Stow teen, Brogan Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison without parole after a jury convicted him for his role in the Craigslist killings.

A deal to allow Rafferty to seek parole after 30 years was retracted with no comment from the court as to why.

After 20 hours of deliberation, jurors said they didn’t believe Rafferty’s tale that he was forced to help his spiritual mentor kill three men who responded to a bogus Craigslist help-wanted ad.

The victims all responded to a Craigslist help-wanted ad in 2011. The listing, billed in the ad as a “job of a lifetime,” promised the use of an expansive property in Noble County and a trailer, plus a $300 weekly salary to oversee the land.

The Craigslist ad required applicants to submit their background information, including their marital status. All of the victims were down-on-their-luck bachelors.

Rafferty testified that his mentor Richard Beas­ley,53, of Akron, at first killed for a new identity. Later, his motive changed to robbing the men who took the job and intended to move their property to Noble County.

Three men died and a fourth was shot during a three-month span between August and November 2011. Rafferty testified that he helped Beasley, a family friend, out of fear of the self-proclaimed religious man.

The former Stow-Munroe Falls High School student is appealing his convictions and sentence.

Rafferty’s notice of appeal in Akron’s 9th District Court of Appeals was filed Dec. 12.

A Summit County capital case against Craigslist murder suspect Richard James Beasley has been moved to a February trial date.