Ohio Churches Deny Craigslist Murder Suspect Is a Chaplain

PHOTO: Richard Beasley and Brogan RaffertyPlayABC News
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Two churches denied today that suspected "Craigslist killer" Richard Beasley was a chaplain in their denominations or that he used their affiliations to mentor teenager Brogan Rafferty, who is charged with attempted murder.

Beasley, 52, who his mother said worked as an unpaid chaplain, was arrested on Nov. 16 along with 16-year-old Rafferty.

Rafferty's mother Yvette Rafferty told "Good Morning America," "Brogan looked up to Chaplain Rich Beasley. For 10 years now he's been taking the church and Bible studies."

Beasley was arrested for previous charges related to prostitution and drugs, while Rafferty has been arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Beasley and Rafferty are suspected in the Craigslist killings of three men and the wounding a fourth man. Police have said they believe the motive of the killings to be robbery.

Two churches that Beasley was associated with denied today that the suspect was a chaplain.

"[Rich Beasley] wasn't sanctioned through The Chapel," Tammy Kennedy, the executive assistant to the senior and executive pastors of The Chapel in Akron, Ohio, told ABCNews.com. "He had no involvement whatsoever with the youth activities."

"Rich's mother is a very faithful member of the chapel," Kennedy said. "However, the other two men attended randomly, sporadically."

Kennedy said she did not know if reports that Beasley and Rafferty met through the church were true.

The Akron Bible Church in northern Ohio, which has also been connected to Beasley, also denied any direct link to him.

Beasley's mother Carol Beasley, 70, told ABCNews.com that her son struggled to make ends meet as an unpaid chaplain and that he desperately did not want to go back to jail.

"Our family stands behind Richard," Beasley said. "He's always been a loving kid and a very giving person who cared about others. He spent hours helping people, praying over people that were dying…so many things."

Carol Beasley said that her son acted as a mentor for Rafferty and tried to get him interested in history, since the boy struggled in school after his parent's divorce.

Yvette Rafferty told "GMA" that her son was manipulated by Beasley and that he is innocent.

"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," she said.

The first victim has been identified as David Pauley, 51, from Norfolk, Va., and the second victim as Timothy Kern, 47, of Massilon, Ohio. The third victim has not yet been identified. Authorities are investigating the possibility of more victims.

In a letter from jail to his father, Rafferty apologizes for putting his father in a difficult position and hopes his father can forgive him.

"From what I hear, it's not looking good for me," Rafferty wrote. "They're more concerned with hanging me than helping me. Since I started writing this letter, I talked to my lawyer. He says there's a chance I might be out by the time I'm 42."

Beasley, who spent half of the past 30 years in prison, has an extensive criminal history.

Court records from Ohio show that Beasley had been in trouble with authorities as recently as February of 2011 for charges including drug trafficking, aggravated menacing, tampering with evidence and possession of criminal tools.

Court documents from Texas show arrests and convictions for charges including burglary and the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Beasley spent about four years in prison in Texas.

The body of the first murder victim was discovered after a South Carolina man who responded to the ad was shot in the arm, but managed to escape and inform authorities of the scam. This past Friday, two other bodies were found, also buried in shallow graves. Police confirmed that one of the bodies found Friday was related to the Craigslist ad, but have not confirmed that the other body is connected.

A judge has imposed a gag order so that no further information about the case could be released by officials.