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AP News

Sentencing set in Ohio's Craigslist killing plot

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio teenager who apparently made a bid for leniency was facing sentencing in a deadly plot to lure men with phony Craigslist job offers.

The sentencing Friday in Akron was delayed earlier this week amid talks that could lead to 17-year-old Brogan Rafferty testifying against his mentor, the alleged triggerman.

Without a last-minute deal, Rafferty faces a possible life prison term without hope of parole.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, whose office investigated the killings, told The Associated Press on Thursday there was no deal. He made no mention of any continuing talks to strike a deal.

There was no comment from the defense. Attorneys are under a gag order.

Rafferty, from Stow near Akron, was convicted last month on aggravated murder and attempted murder charges in the killing of three men and wounding of a fourth.

His co-defendant, Richard Beasley, 53, has pleaded not guilty and will be tried in January.

Judge Lynne Callahan postponed the sentencing during a brief court session Monday but offered no explanation.

The postponement came after prosecutors, including attorneys from DeWine's office, and defense attorneys met privately in the judge's chambers.

Rafferty's cooperation against Beasley could give him a chance for freedom at some point — perhaps in 20 or 30 years.

Prosecutors say the victims, all down in their luck and with few family ties that might highlight their disappearance, were lured with phony offers of farmhand jobs on Craigslist last year.

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