Akron, OH -The remorseful teen convicted in a Craigslist plot to lure jobseekers to their deaths with phony offers was sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole on Friday.
“I thought it was something horrible,” said 17-year-old Brogan Rafferty before his sentencing. He also acknowledged his victims and the “hell” he has put them through with the Craiglist scam. “There were many options I couldn’t see at the time,” he said.
One by one, the victims of his crimes addressed him in court. “You know nothing of remorse, you know nothing of shame,” said Barb Dailey, sister of the slain Timothy Kern. “You will be destroyed,” she said, while Rafferty nodded slightly.
“It was only by the grace of God that I survived,” said a statement by survivor Scott Davis, read by his sister Lori Hildreth. “You took from me a chance to have a normal life.”
Rafferty’s defense tried to broker a deal with the prosecution in light of his age to reduce the sentence. The deal also included testimony against Rafferty’s older accomplice, 53-year-old Richard Beasley, who is both the alleged triggerman as well as the teen’s twisted mentor in the Craiglist murder plot. The defense said “if it weren’t for Richard Beasley, Brogan wouldn’t be sitting here” in court, reports MSN.
The judge weighed Rafferty’s age, broken childhood, and lack of any priors in her decision. Still, she regarded the executions as cold and calculated, deciding on a life sentence without parole. “You had the opportunity to stop the deaths,” she said.
Beasley, described as the teen’s spiritual mentor and the “mastermind” of the Craigslist plot, has pleaded not guilty, and is facing a January 7 trial.
The three men murdered in the Craigslist scam were Ralph Geiger, 56, of Akron; David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Va.; and Kern, 47, of Massillon. They were apparently targeted because they were older, single, out-of-work men with backgrounds that made it unlikely that their disappearances would be noticed right away.
Do you think that Brogan Rafferty received the right sentence for his role in the Ohio Craigslist scam? Should his sentence be stricter or lighter?