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Monday
Nov282011

Ohio Churches Deny Craigslist Murder Suspect Is a Chaplain

Richard Beasley, left, and Brogan Rafferty. (ABC News)(AKRON, Ohio) -- Two churches denied Monday 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 ABC’s Good Morning America that "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.

Beasley and Rafferty are suspected in the Craigslist killings of three men and the wounding of a fourth man, who managed to escape. Police have said they believe the motive of the killings to be robbery; the pair are accused of luring men to the state with the promise of employment.

Two churches that Beasley was associated with denied Monday 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 ABC News. "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.

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.

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.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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