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Ohio man sentenced to death for Craigslist plot

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 4, 2013 at 10:56 am •  Published: April 4, 2013
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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, whose office worked with the Summit County prosecutor, watched the sentencing and said later there was no evidence of more victims, but he couldn't rule that out.

Based on what he knows about Beasley, "It would not surprise me at all if there's other homicides," DeWine said. "But whether we will ever find them or prove them, I can't say that."

In arguing the sentence before the jury, both sides highlighted Rafferty's case: The defense said his life sentence should factor into the jury's deliberations but prosecutors said it shouldn't because Rafferty's age ruled out the death penalty entirely.

The jury recommended execution after hearing two hours of testimony from witnesses, including Beasley's tearful mother, who were called to portray him sympathetically and press for leniency.

Carol Beasley testified that her son had a troubled childhood and suffered physical abuse by his stepfather. She also said she learned within the past year that her son had been sexually abused by neighborhood youngsters.

"I always felt there was much more than he told me," she said.

As she testified, Beasley slumped forward, his chin on his chest and his right hand covering his eyes.

The defense also called a psychologist, John Fabian, who testified that Beasley suffers from depression, alcohol abuse, low self-esteem and a feeling of isolation, all possible results of a troubled, abusive childhood.

Prosecutor Jonathan Baumoel had urged jurors to consider the "enormous" weight of Beasley's crimes as they considered his punishment, calling him "the worst of the worst."

Beasley will become the seventh person from Summit County currently on Ohio's death row. Twelve other people from Summit County were previously sentenced to death including one defendant, Donald Craig, who received separate death sentences for two different killings.

Several had their sentences overturned, one — Craig — died of natural causes, and five have been executed. The last inmate put to death from Summit County was Brett Hartman, executed last year for stabbing an Akron woman more than a hundred times, then cutting off her hands.

The county has a relatively low death sentence rate, according to data from the Ohio Supreme Court, the state prisons system and the state public defender's office analyzed by The Associated Press. Only one of every five defendants who have faced capital punishment charges since 1981 actually received a death sentence, according to the analysis.

Most defendants facing a death sentence pleaded guilty to avoid execution, with several receiving sentences of life with no chance of parole.

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Associated Press Legal Affairs Writer Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus contributed to this report