AKRON -- Richard Beasley's desire to stay out of prison prompted a deadly scheme to kill others and assume their identities, sources tell Channel 3 Akron Bureau Chief Eric Mansfield.
As a career criminal, the 52-year-old Akron man was likely facing hard time on new charges of drug trafficking and promoting prostitution, sources said, so he'd been on the run for months to include changing his hair color to maintain his disguise.
Beasley is a suspect in the murder of one man and the shooting of another in Noble County after the men answered bogus ads Beasley placed on craigslist.com.
A source close to the investigation tells Mansfield that surveillance photos showed Beasley meeting with at least one of the victims at a restaurant in Marietta, Ohio, prior to driving to a wooded area of Noble County where the alleged killing took place.
Investigators traced the on-line ad to a computer IP address in Akron, which led them to Beasley, whose cell phone was tracked by authorities, leading to his apprehension on Wednesday on Johnson Street, sources said.
The plot included finding men who were single and had no immediate family so that once their bodies were in the ground, no one would come looking for them, sources said.
Beasley remains jailed in Akron while an alleged accomplice, 16-year-old Brogan Rafferty of Stow, is jailed at the Summit County Juvenile Courthouse on one count of attempted murder.