Noble County Sheriff Stephen Hannum testified Tuesday that he initially didn't believe the injured man's story about the job offer and the shooting, partly because he couldn't think of a swath of land nearby that matched the farm in the job ad. But he said the sheriff's office located Davis' truck and trailer full of belongings he'd brought to Ohio and began to believe he was a victim as the case unfolded.
Beasley, who has back problems and was seated in a wheelchair, occasionally whispered to his attorneys or took notes as he listened to testimony.
He's been portrayed as a mentor and friend to his co-defendant, 18-year-old Brogan Rafferty, who was tried separately, convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Rafferty has agreed to testify against Beasley.
Rafferty has said the crimes were horrible but he didn't see any chance to stop the killings. Rafferty said he feared Beasley would kill him and his relatives if he tipped off police.
Prosecutors say the victims, all down on their luck and with few family ties that might highlight their disappearance, also were lured with fake job offers on Craigslist. The slain men were Ralph Geiger, 56, of Akron; David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Va.; and Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon.
Kern's father was among a handful of victims' relatives in court Tuesday. Beasley's mother also appeared, but the judge instructed her to leave because of the possibility that she might be a witness before sentencing if Beasley is convicted.