Craigslist killer Richard Beasley’s appeal of his death penalty conviction was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Beasley’s case was included in a list of appeals Monday morning that the high court declined to hear.
Beasley, a death row inmate from Akron, argued that Ohio Supreme Court Justice Patrick DeWine, the son of former Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, now the governor-elect, should have recused himself from Beasley’s case when it was before the state Supreme Court. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office assisted with Beasley’s prosecution and argued the case before the Ohio Supreme Court.
"The U.S. Supreme Court hears a very small number of cases," said Donald Gallick, one of Beasley’s Akron attorneys. "I’m disappointed they’re not going to speak on the issue of family members serving as judges in cases involving relatives."
Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh, however, was pleased with the high court's decision.
"Mr. Beasley is a serial killer, luring his innocent victims with the promise of a job and a better life," she said Monday in a prepared statement. "We will continue to fight for Ralph Geiger, David Pauley, Timothy Kerns, and Scott Davis. Richard Beasley needs to be held accountable for what he did."
The Ohio Supreme Court upheld Beasley’s death sentence Feb. 9. Beasley had challenged the sentence because he claimed there were multiple trial errors.
Beasley was convicted of posting bogus job offers on Craigslist to rob and murder three men in 2011. Beasley and his teenage accomplice, Brogan Rafferty of Stow, were convicted in 2013. Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The murders made national news because Beasley posted ads on Craigslist to lure the men to a remote spot in southern Ohio.
Beasley’s challenges of his death sentence aren’t done yet. He still must be appointed a post-conviction attorney for the next steps of his appeals. He also must be resentenced on the non-capital convictions against him because of an Ohio Supreme Court ruling. The court found the trial court didn’t follow statutory requirements in determining the consecutive sentences on these charges.
The Beasley case wasn’t the only time the issue of Patrick DeWine and Mike DeWine’s relationship was raised in court. Patrick DeWine recused himself last July from deciding a case involving the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), an online charter school, that Mike DeWine’s office was involved with.
The state’s high court ultimately ruled against ECOT.
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 996-3705, firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Twitter: @swarsmithabj.