- (Photo: Reuters/Mike Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal/Pool)
An Ohio jury has recommended that "Craigslist Killer" Richard Beasley receive the death penalty after being found guilty of three murders. The news came after Beasley's mother asked the court for leniency, claiming that her son was suffering enough for his crimes.
The jury reportedly took less than three hours to agree on the death penalty before making their recommendation to Judge Lynne Callahan. She is expected to sentence Beasley on March 26.
Prosecutor Jonathan Baumoel was pleased with the jury's recommendation, as were family members of the three victims.
"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," Baumoel told the Associated Press.
Beasley allegedly also mentored Brogan Rafferty in the crimes, and the 18-year-old boy has also been sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole. He never testified against Beasley, who was believed to have masterminded the entire ordeal. Beasley maintained his innocence throughout the trial and said he was attacked by the one survivor.
"He was the mastermind behind this plot" and used "prior calculation and design," prosecutor Jonathan Baumoel told jurors.
Beasley lured people on Craigslist with the promise of work on a farm. Four men replied to Beasley's ad, and three were left dead after their meeting. Ralph Geiger, 56; David Pauley, 51; and Timothy Kern, 47, were all killed by the former convict.
"They made the right decision. They knew what they had in their heart and what they had to do. They did it for us," Kern's father, Jack, has said, according to The Associated Press.
Survivor Scott Davis testified that he heard the sound of a gun being cocked, but he was able to knock the gun away after Beasley shot him in the arm. He was one of the core witnesses at the trial.
"I spun around… I was worried about bleeding to death," Davis said while recounting his story of survival. Davis told the court that he quickly ran from Beasley after disarming him and hid in the woods for over seven hours before being found.
Beasley, however, offered a different account of the meeting with Davis, which the jury apparently did not believe. He insisted that Davis was the one who had the gun and was seeking revenge for Beasley being an informant for the police.