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AKRON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio teen was heard on a tape played to jurors Thursday acknowledging he dug a grave for a man allegedly killed as part of a deadly scheme to lure victims with phony Craigslist job offers.
Suspect Brogan Rafferty was also heard telling investigators on the tape played in Summit County court in Akron that the alleged motive for the slaying was stealing the victim’s identity.
The 17-year-year-old has been charged with killing three men along with his mentor, 53-year-old Richard Beasley. A fourth victim was shot and injured but escaped.
WEWS-TV reported that Rafferty is heard on the tape saying Beasley asked him to help drag victim Ralph Geiger’s body, get a shovel and dig a 4-foot-deep hole.
“He had me help put Mr. Geiger into the hole,” Rafferty said on the tape, on which he also gave detectives a possible motive of identity theft.
Beasley said he “needed a new identity and make his appearance similar to Geiger,” Rafferty said.
Rafferty also told investigators that Beasley cut off Geiger’s clothes with a knife after the slaying and that Beasley sprayed bleach to make sure there wasn’t any blood.
In other interview tapes played earlier in court Thursday, Rafferty acknowledged having breakfast with Scott Davis, who survived being shot Nov. 6, allegedly by Beasley, and was the first witness at Rafferty’s trial. Detectives recorded the interviews while investigating the slayings.
Rafferty also said on a tape he had driven to Noble County with Beasley where they met David Pauley of Norfolk, Va., for breakfast, then drove toward Caldwell.
The body of Pauley, 51, was found on Noble County property owned by a coal company and often leased to hunters. Investigators say he died Oct. 23 from a gunshot wound to the head.
Rafferty, who is being tried as an adult, could face life in prison if convicted of the attacks. Beasley is being tried separately.