A teenager and his adult mentor have been arrested in connection with Ohio's Craigslist killings, as investigators identified another alleged victim last week.
Brogan Rafferty, 16, is charged with attempted murder and complicity to attempted murder. His mentor, Richard Beasley, 52, is also being held.
Investigators believe Beasley and Rafferty posted fake job ads on the website Craigslist to lure victims to rural Ohio. The pair then shot and killed their victims, apparently with the intent to rob them, the Associated Press reports.
So far, three homicides have been tied to the Ohio Craigslist killers. The first victim, David Pauley, 51, drove from Norfolk, Va., to respond to the fake job ad; his body was found in a shallow grave.
Police on Friday identified a second Craigslist killing victim: Timothy Kern, 47, of Massilon, Ohio. A third victim, whose body was found near Kern's, has not been identified.
A fourth victim, from South Carolina, was shot in the arm but escaped from the alleged killers Nov. 6. His police report triggered the Ohio Craigslist killing investigation.
Rafferty is being held in juvenile detention, and could be tried as an adult. But because prosecutors have charged him with attempted murder and complicity, it appears they don't believe he actually pulled the trigger in the killings.
Complicity, also known as being an accomplice, means Rafferty himself did not commit the crime, but helped someone else carry it out. Still, an accomplice to attempted murder can be held just as liable as an attempted murderer, and can face the same punishment if convicted.
To find Rafferty guilty of attempted murder, prosecutors will need to prove he intended to commit murder, and took steps toward that crime. This could be in connection with the three Craigslist killings, or with the shooting of the victim who got away.
Rafferty's mentor, Beasley, whom the boy apparently met at church, is in jail on unrelated charges. Beasley is expected to be charged soon in connection with Ohio's Craigslist killings.
- Ohio teen charged in shooting linked to Craigslist ad (Reuters)
- Body found in Akron identified as Massillon's Timothy Kern (WKYC-TV)
- Rhode Island Indicts 'Craigslist Killer' Suspect for Assault (FindLaw's Courtside)
- Woman Lists Gamer Husband on Craigslist (FindLaw's Legally Weird)