Teen charged in Ohio Craigslist scheme writes dad

An Ohio 16-year-old charged with murder in a deadly Craigslist robbery scheme says in a letter to his father that he believes God will keep him from a long incarceration.

"There's a chance I might be out by the time I'm 42," Brogan Rafferty wrote. "I know there is no way in hell that any kind of God would do that to me."

The handwritten letter expressing his hopes and fears was sent last month. Rafferty's father gave a copy to The Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland.

Rafferty has been charged with aggravated murder and complicity to aggravated murder and is expected to be transferred to adult court after a hearing next week.

Authorities have linked at least two deaths to a bogus help-wanted ad posted to the online Craigslist site to lure victims to rural Ohio. David Pauley, 51, of Virginia was killed on Oct. 23, and the body of Timothy Kern, 48, of Massillon was found near an Akron shopping mall Nov. 25. Both had been shot in the head.

A South Carolina man escaped after being shot and was able to lead police to the site of Pauley's body. The body of a third possible victim, Ralph Geiger, 55, from Atlanta, was found on Nov. 25 near where Pauley was buried.

Rafferty is accused of helping 52-year-old self-styled preacher Richard Beasley in at least two of the shootings. Beasley's mother said her son acted as a mentor to Rafferty and took the boy to church.

The teen writes that he is worried that "all my meaningful family members would be dead," if he is sentenced to a lengthy prison stay. His aunts, uncles, grandmother and pets would be gone and his parents dead or dying, he wrote.

"I think about this and know that there is no way God would do that to me," he wrote. "Something will happen between now and then."

Rafferty doesn't address the charges against him, but he apologized to his father for putting him in "this position" and said he hoped his father could forgive him.

He let his father know too that he was OK. He wrote that jailers had put him in solitary confinement where he spent his time reading and exercising.

Rafferty said he recently finished "Treasure Island" and "Robin Hood."


Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com