Ed Meyer


To see more about the crimes Richard Beasley and Brogan Rafferty committed, click here to buy the Beacon Journal eBook The Craigslist Killings.



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



Beasley, 53, of Akron, had been scheduled to stand trial next month with jury selection set to begin Jan. 7.



However, after a change in lawyers, the trial date was moved to Feb. 19, court docketing records show.



Beasley had been represented since early this year by court-appointed attorneys Brian M. Pierce and Rhonda L. Kotnick.



His new lawyers are James L. Burdon and Lawrence J. Whitney, who were retained by Beasley.



In other developments in the case, the jury pool was set by Common Pleas Judge Lynne S. Callahan at 500.



The Summit County Jury Commission began the process of drawing names from voting lists Thursday, court records show.



Callahan imposed a gag order this year in which all parties directly involved in the case are prohibited from commenting outside court proceedings.



Prosecutors are seeking a death sentence for Beasley, who is accused of multiple counts of aggravated murder and death penalty specifications for allegedly concocting a plot to lure three men to their deaths.



The three murder victims, along with a fourth man who managed to escape after being shot in the elbow by Beasley, answered Craigslist ads last year for a nonexistent farm job in Noble County in southern Ohio.



Testimony in the October murder trial of Beasley’s co-defendant, 17-year-old Brogan Rafferty of Stow, established that the slayings and the attempted murder occurred over a four-month period between August and November 2011.



Government co-counsel Emily Pelphrey said in opening statements at Rafferty’s trial that all four men, down on their luck, were “looking for the light at the end of the tunnel” by answering the Craigslist ads.



The job supposedly was on 600-plus acres and paid $300 per week with a two-bedroom trailer.



Rafferty, who was convicted of three counts of aggravated murder, was sentenced by Callahan in November to life in prison with no chance of parole.



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.



Ed Meyer can be reached at 330-996-3784 or at emeyer@thebeaconjournal.com.