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Summit County Prosecutor seeking death penalty against Craigslist murder suspect

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The adult arrested in connection with the deadly Craigslist murder plot, is now closer to being charged and Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh says she is seeking the death penalty.

Richard Beasley, 52, is expected to be charged with murder and attempted murder of the four victims in the Craigslist murders in Noble and Summit counties.

"In deciding where and how to try this case, our primary concern was doing what is in the best interest of the victims and their families," said Prosecutor Walsh. "In trying the case in Summit County, we will ensure the surviving victim and the families of the other victims do not suffer through multiple lengthy trials and will provide a more convenient location for at least some of the families and the surviving victim."

All of the criminal activity originated in Summit County. Additionally, most of the victims' families have ties to the Stark and Summit County area.

Last week, Beasley was in court for unrelated drug and prostitution charges. He is being held on a one million dollar bond. He will be back in court on those charges on December 22nd.

Beasley is a family friend and mentor of 16-year-old Brogan Rafferty. The Stow-Munroe Falls High School sophomore has already been charged with murder and attempted murder.

FBI and police say Rafferty and Beasley lured several men to a farm in Marietta, Ohio. The Craigslist ad promised work, but one of the men was murdered and buried in a shallow grave. The other man was shot in the arm, but managed to escape.

The body of 47-year-old Timothy Kern of Massillon was found November 25th in a shallow grave behind Rolling Acres Mall in Akron. Kern was last seen November 13th.  His family told authorities he was going to meet a prospective employer.

Also on November 25th, a fourth victim was found in a shallow grave in Noble County. That victim is 56-year-old Ralph H. Geiger of Akron.

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