February 17, 2012 / 7:20 PM / 8 years ago

Teen suspect in Craigslist murders denies charges

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Ohio teen pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he assisted in the murder of one man and the attempted murder of another man who answered a bogus Craigslist ad.

Seventeen-year-old Brogan Rafferty appeared briefly in Summit County court in Akron with his attorney and pleaded not guilty to the murder of David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Virginia and the attempted murder of Scott Davis, 48, of North Carolina.

Rafferty showed little emotion as he shuffled into the hearing in adult court wearing a white t-shirt and orange prison pants. The hearing Friday involved only some of the charges against Rafferty — he also faces charges in the murders of two other men.

Rafferty was arrested in November after Davis told the Noble County sheriff’s department he survived being shot by Rafferty and Richard J. Beasley, 52, after they drove him to a heavily wooded area in the rural county.

Pauley’s body was found on November 15.

In addition to the attempted murder of Davis and the murder of Pauley, Beasley and Rafferty have been indicted for the murders of Ralph Geiger, 56, of Akron, Ohio and Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon, Ohio.

All of the victims were allegedly lured to Ohio by a Craigslist ad promising a $300 a week job on an Ohio ranch.

The Craiglist murders are among a number of incidents across the nation where accused attackers apparently found their victims through ad postings on Craigslist or other social media sites.

In 2009, a former medical student was accused of killing a masseuse he met through Craigslist and police believe that a serial killer, or killers, in the New York area may be preying on prostitutes who advertised on the site.

In other incidents, victims advertising goods for sale have been attacked and killed as have those responding to ads.

Two men in Tennessee this month were accused of killing a man and a woman for “defriending” the daughter of one of the suspects on Facebook.

Reporting By Kim Palmer; Editing by Mary Wisniewski

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