- (Photo: Reuters/Mike Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal/Pool)
The "Craigslist Killer" has been sentenced to death by Judge Lynne Callahan, bringing closure to the families of Richard Beasley's three victims. Beasley, however, insisted that he was innocent when his sentence was given.
"I want to make sure you understand: I have killed nobody," Beasley said soon after the sentence was given. He also insisted that the guilty verdict and recommendation for the death penalty would be overturned upon appeals.
He was convicted in March of kidnapping and killing three men who answered a Craigslist ad for work. Beasley was later found to have used the ad to lure the men to their deaths with the help of then 16-year-old Brogan Rafferty. Rafferty received a sentence of life in prison without parole.
Beasley, however, was found guilty of the murders of David Pauley; Ralph Geiger, and Timothy Kern. He was also convicted of the attempted murder of Scott Davis, who managed to escape and testified at Beasley's trial.
"I will be there as you go, smiling," Davis said after the sentence was read.
The jury took less than three hours to unanimously agree on Beasley's guilt verdict and the recommendation of the death penalty as punishment, which pleased lead prosecutor Jonathan Baumoel.
"The law in Ohio for the death penalty, it's reserved for the worst of the worst, and it's the state's position that Richard Beasley is the worst of the worst," he told the Associated Press after the jury reached its decision.
"Beasley is a master manipulator, even up to today, constantly trying to manipulate and lie," prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh told reporters afterward.
Throughout the case, one person has persistently defended Beasley, and that is his mother, Carol, who asked jurors to spare the life of her son. She insisted that he had already suffered enough and had been physically and sexually abused as a child.
However, her pleas were not enough to override the fact that Beasley had lied to, and then killed, three innocent men.
"When he was shooting at me, I saw nothing in his eyes," Davis told reporters as he left the courthouse.