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AKRON, Ohio (AP) — The defense for a teenager charged in the shooting deaths of three men lured by phony Craigslist job offers opened its case Monday by trying to show his mood changed about the time of the slayings.
The defendant, Brogan Rafferty, 17, of suburban Stow, was normally happy but his mood changed late last year and he became agitated, testified a longtime friend, Kaleb Moore.
“He seemed on edge a lot,” testified Moore, who described himself as Rafferty’s best friend since the seventh grade.
Moore said Rafferty had confided in him about family problems, including his parents’ divorce, but admitted under cross-examination by the prosecution that there were things he didn’t know, such as that Rafferty had a gun.
Amy Saller, who had been welcomed by co-defendant Richard Beasley into his halfway house for those down on their luck, said she had met Rafferty three times but noticed he was different the last time, in the fall of 2011. “He was so innocent,” Saller testified.
According to The (Canton) Repository, Saller testified that Beasley had introduced Rafferty as his nephew.
Prosecutors say Rafferty and Beasley, a self-styled chaplain and the alleged triggerman, targeted men desperate for work with phony Craigslist job ads. The defense contends Rafferty was under duress and fearful for himself and relatives if he didn’t participate in the alleged crimes.
Beasley has pleaded not guilty and will be tried separately.