The halls of Stow-Munroe Falls High School are no doubt abuzz with the news that classmate Brogan Rafferty is being accused of attempted murder, and the teen’s friends are speaking out.
Brogan Rafferty, 16 has been charged with one count each of attempted murder and complicity to attempted murder and is being held in the Muskingum County Juvenile Detention Center.
Earlier this week, Brogan’s mother, Yvette Rafferty told 19 Action News that the family had trusted 52 year old Richard Beasley enough to mentor their teenage son. But the recent events now unfolding are painting a disturbing picture of the man they called “Chaplin Rich”.
“I’ve known Rich since 2000. He was a friend of ours supposedly,” Ms. Rafferty said. “Rich to me was Chaplin Rich Beasley. And a friend. A man of God. A man of God.”
The concerned mother had a chance to visit her son in the detention center, through the thick jail glass.
“He just looked like a scared kid,” she said. “He said he knew nothing of what was going on.”
When police showed up at the Rafferty’s door in connection with the Craigslist job scam killings, the family was shocked. As authorities took the young man into custody, Yvette recalls, “Me and his dad both we both explained to Brogan that he needs to tell the whole truth no matter what this is not snitching this is you know what is right.”
On a Facebook post, a friend of Brogan reveals a possible reason why the charged teen didn’t speak out about Beasley’s involvement in the shootings earlier, stating, “what would u do if someone threated to kill your family?”
While Rafferty is reportedly cooperating fully with authorities, Richard Beasley is denying any guilt in the shootings. Beasley’s attorney, Rhonda Kotnik told reporters, “He said it’s not him. That’s it. He’s innocent.”
Beasley also appears to be upset with Rafferty’s compliance with police. “He’s just disappointed that the kid is saying things about him,” Kotnik said.
According to reports, Beasley had served time for several crimes before becoming a “man of God”. In the 80’s and 90’s, he spent a total of 15 years in jail, for 3 separate charges. Around 2003. Beasley started a halfway house in Akron, and Ohio.com reports that he even testified before judges, testifying of behalf of those in his care. The police, however, claim that the house may have been used as a front for prostitution.
If Beasley could con the community and authorities, Brogan’s friends charge their classmate was likely con’ed as well.
A group on Facebook, Free Brogan Rafferty was recently started in contrast to all the media attention and accusations that Brogan was guilty. “If you knew him personally, you’d know this is something he’d never do,” the creator of the group explains. “Support and a good lawyer are the two of the things he needs most.”
Rafferty’s sister, Ranya Funk, also maintains her brothers innocence. “Thanks guys we all know my brother would never do this,” she writes.
On another site devoted to Brogan, a friend writes on open letter about Rafferty:
I will not say much. For reasons only i alone will worry about. I will say this: I am a friend of Brogan’s. He helped me through a lot and he doesn’t know. For that i owe him alot. He is a great kid. He such a sweetheart. Yeah he teased me and joked with me to piss me off at times but i could never truely hate him. I made this site for the sole reason that i think Brogan is innocent. And i know a few others that agree and they are closer to him than i am. He has had a rough life but i can not see him go to such extremes such as this. I know for a fact that he would only hurt someone is if he knew them and if he was being attacked and he attacked back to protect himself.
I also created this site to see what peoples opinions are and to bring the friends and maybe family together. I’m praying for Brogan. I’ll miss him so much.”
In a eerily foreshadowing post on The Chapel‘s Facebook wall, Brogan writes, “While I was driving home last night, I got behind an ambulance with a woman in it. She was obviously doing less than well, and even though I woke up with a headache, sour stomache, and a dry mouth, you can’t help but be thankful for the bad hands you get delt in life, because it can always get worse.”