Ohio Craigslist Killings: Mother Says Teen Son is Innocent

PHOTO: Yvette Rafferty, the mother of the teenage boy arrested in connection with what has been dubbed the "Craiglist killings" in Ohio claims that her son was manipulated by the 52-year-old pastor with whom he was arrested on suspicion of three murders.
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The mother of the teenage boy arrested in connection with what has been dubbed the "Craiglist killings" in Ohio claims that her son was manipulated by the 52-year-old pastor with whom he was arrested on suspicion of three murders.

Brogan Rafferty, a 16-year-old high school junior from a suburb outside of Akron, Ohio, was arrested on alleged attempted murder charges for his involvement in a plot to lure men to remote rural areas via a help wanted ad posted on online classified ad site Craigslist, and killing them.

His mother, Yvette Rafferty, told "Good Morning America" today that her son "made a bad decision hanging around the wrong person" when he began spending time with Rich Beasley.

Beasley has not been charged with the murders, but is being held on a $1 million and charges related to prostitution.

"Brogan looked up to Chaplain Rich Beasley," she said. "For 10 years now he's been taking the church and Bible studies … I know one thing, my son told me that he didn't do it. And I believe it. There is a monster here. But it's not my son.

"I believe he put his trust in someone in … he's a very smart kid but sometimes when you're not seeing the whole picture, you just believe … that that person is going to lead you in the right way," the boy's mother told ABC News.

Beasley, who worked as an unpaid chaplain, was arrested on Nov. 16 along with Brogan Rafferty when authorities discovered at least three bodies buried in shallow graves in Ohio. An online posting advertising a job working on an Ohio cattle farm is being eyed as a common link in the deaths.

"I believe he put his trust in someone in … he's a very smart kid but sometimes when you're not seeing the whole picture, you just believe … that that person is gonna lead you in the right way," the boy's mother told ABC News.

Beasley's 70-year-old mother told says that her son tried to help the teenage boy, who she said had difficulty in school following his parents' divorce. The two would go fishing, play video games and deliver food to the needy, according to ABC affiliate WEWS.

The victims that responded to the online ad were told to bring all of their belongings, as they would also be living on the farm, which does not in fact exist. Police said they believe robbery was the motive in the three murders and one attempted murder.

Both of the first two victims had responded to the advertisement. One of the men was shot in the arm but managed to escape and inform authorities. And this past Friday two other bodies were found, also buried in shallow graves.

Beasley has a long criminal record and has spent a total of 15 years in jail over the last 30 years. He's now in jail on drug and prostitution charges while police try to build a case for this recent string of murders.

Brogan Rafferty is in a juvenile detention center, accused of helping Beasley execute his crimes. In a letter shown exclusively to ABC News, the teenager says that authorities are "more concerned with hanging me than helping me." He is charged with attempted murder and complicity to attempt murder.

"He's a scared kid," Yvette Rafferty says of her son, who she says was an aspiring police officer and animal lover.

Ron Sanson told ABC News last week that he responded to the same Craigslist ad, which promised work on a 688-acre cattle farm, and now believed he narrowly escaped death. He says that he met Beasley at an Ohio shopping mall for an interview.

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