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Lawyer: Beasley too injured to be killer

Feb. 26, 2013 at 8:32 AM

AKRON, Ohio, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Though "he is not a saint," suspected Craigslist killer Richard Beasley isn't a murderer, his lawyer said in opening remarks at Beasley's trial in Akron, Ohio.

Beasley's lawyer, James Burdon, said that while his client had gotten mixed up with a motorcycle group known for its use of violence, Beasley isn't a violent man.

"He is not a saint. He has done a lot of things wrong in his life," Burdon said, but he has been accused "of something he did not do."

Beasley is accused of the 2011 killings of three out-of-work men and wounding a forth who responded to Craigslist ads for jobs. The wounded man, Scott Davis, identified Beasley as his attacker and police said cellphone and computer records linked Beasley to the slayings, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

Burdon painted Beasley as a man too impaired to have committed the killings, citing a 2006 work-related injury that resulted in the suspect having to use a wheelchair.

Prosecutors called Beasley a "wolf in sheep's clothing," citing a Bible verse.

Prosecutor Emily Pelphrey argued Beasley used the identity of several people, including that of Ralph Geiger, one of the men found dead on the same farmland in Noble County where Davis had been attacked.

She showed jurors a job application in Geiger's name long after he was dead and an identification card with the same name and what appeared to be Beasley's photograph, the Beacon Journal reported.

Beasley could be sentenced to death if convicted of killing Geiger, 56, of Akron; David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Va.; and Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon, Ohio. He also is charged with wounding Davis, 48.

Beasley's co-defendant, Brogan Rafferty, 18, of Stow was convicted last October and faces life in prison.

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