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Lone survivor testifies at Ohio Craigslist trial

Associated Press Modified: October 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm •  Published: October 12, 2012
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Under questioning by prosecutor Emily Pelphrey, Davis identified the younger accomplice by describing the defendant's courtroom outfit.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney John Alexander, Davis testified that "Jack" had orchestrated the farm visit and fired at him.

Alexander posed repeated questions fingering Beasley as the mastermind, each time beginning, "'Jack' was the one ... "

In her opening statement, Pelphrey said Rafferty chose to participate in the three killings and Davis' wounding, even if he wasn't the triggerman. Rafferty, of nearby Stow, kept his head down and took notes as the alleged plot was detailed for the jury.

Pelphrey showed the jury timelines for each victim and said they had been desperate to improve their lives or find "the light at the end of the tunnel." A photo of each victim's grave was shown on a big TV screen as she spoke.

The defendant was a quick student of the alleged plot and "a student of violent crime," Pelphrey told jurors.

"He made the choices he wanted to make," she said.

Alexander told jurors Rafferty never participated voluntarily and was afraid that Beasley would kill him and his relatives if he didn't cooperate. As for the alleged plot to lure job-seekers, Alexander said, Rafferty "had no idea any of this was going on."

The first killing came without warning for Rafferty, according to Alexander. Afterward, Beasley warned Rafferty to keep quiet by reminding him that he knew where Rafferty's mother and sister lived, the defense lawyer said.

That was an implied threat, Alexander said. "He would kill them if Brogan says anything," Alexander told jurors.

The body of David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Va., was found on Noble County property owned by a coal company and often leased to hunters.

Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon, was found in a shallow grave near an Akron-area shopping mall. He had been shot in the head.

The body of Ralph Geiger, 55, of Akron, was found in Noble County, dead of a gunshot wound to the head.

Beasley was a Texas parolee who returned to Ohio in 2004 after serving time on a burglary conviction. He was awaiting trial on prostitution and drug charges when authorities took him into custody.

Police have said a halfway house he ran in Akron was a front for prostitution. Authorities said he was a mentor for Rafferty and had befriended him.