AKRON -- The teen suspect in the slayings of three men lured by phony Craigslist job offers testified at his murder trial.
Brogan Rafferty told the court he went along only because he feared the triggerman, Richard Beasley, would kill him, too.
"Go with it or die," Rafferty said when asked if he thought he had any choice in taking part in the murders. He has admitted being there, witnessing the killings, digging the graves, and burying the bodies.
The 17-year-old Rafferty testified Tuesday he had great admiration for Beasley, who goes on trial in January. "I thought he was a great guy. He was like the father I never had."
Rafferty slowly detailed the killings and said repeatedly he feared Beasley might kill him and his family members if he objected.
"I would die and my family would die" is what Rafferty said he believed would happen if he revealed anything to anyone about the murders of three men in Noble County, Ohio, in the summer and fall of 2011.
"There was no second guessing that look, or those actions," he said of Beasley's supposed control over him. He said his admiration for his father-figure ended "the morning he murdered a man in font of me."
That was August 9, 2011 when the first of three victims who came to be interviewed for a non-existent farm job was shot and killed.
Rafferty's testimony lasted about four hours and was preceded by other defense witnesses who talked about his miserable childhood in which he had to raise himself from the age of 6 because of a crack addicted mother and a father who was rarely present.
It was expected that closing statements would take place by Wednesday, followed by jury deliberations. Rafferty is being tried as an adult, but cannot face the death penalty if convicted, because of his age.