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Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 10:54am
SUMMIT COUNTY, OH — A man convicted of murdering three men who answered a Craigslist ad to work on an Ohio cattle farm was sentenced to death Thursday morning, Summit County Court Bailiff Brian Scheetz said.
A judge in Summit County accepted a jury's recommendation that Richard James Beasley should die for the crimes.
Ralph Geiger, 56, of Akron, Ohio; David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Virginia; and Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon, Ohio, answered the ad and were killed in late 2011.
In March, a jury convicted Beasley on 26 counts of aggravated murder, kidnapping, aggravated robbery and unanimously recommended that he be sentenced to death.
Would-be victim Scott Davis apparently was in Beasley's cross hairs, too.
After answering the online ad for work on a 688-acre property in eastern Ohio, the South Carolinian in November 2011 told a deputy sheriff how he'd met with two males, and then drove toward Stock Township. Told a road was closed due to a landslide, Davis got out of the car and started walking through a heavily wooded area toward what he was informed was where he'd be working.
He turned around "to see a gun pointed at his head," Noble County Sheriff Stephen S. Hannum later explained.
Shot in the arm, Davis ran and hid in the forest for seven hours. Eventually, he got the nerve to go to a house and ask for help.
After he told his story, authorities began to connect his case with those of other missing men. One of them was Kern, killed one week after Davis' escape.
Authorities have said that one of Beasley's motives was to steal from his victims.