Oct 30, 2012 / 6:45 pm
An Ohio teenager taken under the wing of a man defence attorneys described as a master manipulator was found guilty of aggravated murder Tuesday for his role in a deadly plot to lure men desperate for work with phoney Craigslist job offers.
Prosecutors in the weekslong trial painted 17-year-old Brogan Rafferty as a quick student of violence and willing participant in three killings, while the defence argued he was acting under the duress of his alleged accomplice, a self-styled chaplain depicted as a mentor.
Authorities say Rafferty, of Stow, helped Richard Beasley, of Akron, lure four victims at separate times with bogus Craigslist job offers to a nonexistent cattle farm in rural Noble County in southeast Ohio; they say the motive was robbery. Authorities say Beasley shot and killed three of the men; the fourth victim was shot in the arm and survived.
Rafferty stood with his hands clasped behind his back and showed no emotion as the verdicts were read. His mother leaned over and cried softly.
Led from the courtroom, Rafferty shook his head and said, "Nothing to say." He didn't respond to reporters' questions about the verdict.
Prosecutors and the defence, who are under a gag order, didn't comment afterward. The father of victim Timothy Kern flashed a "thumbs up" after the verdicts were read but declined to comment when he left the courtroom.
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