AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- A Texas parolee now linked to a deadly Craigslist robbery scheme was in an Ohio jail and poised to stay there earlier this year, but he was released because Texas officials allowed him to be freed, according to court records and an Ohio sheriff's office.
Richard Beasley was released in July on a judge's order. He now is linked to an autumn plot in which, authorities say, someone tried to lure robbery victims by posting a bogus ad touting a cattle farm job in southeast Ohio.
Authorities have linked two bodies and the shooting of a man who survived to the scheme, which targeted single, out-of-work men in their late 40s or early 50s. The investigators heading up the Craigslist inquiry also found a third body but have yet to link it to the case.
When Beasley was arrested June 24 on a drug-dealing charge in Ohio, authorities in Texas at first asked that he be held for violating parole on a burglary conviction in that state.
Ohio officials said Beasley would have remained behind bars but that Texas officials decided he could be freed at least until the Ohio case was resolved.
Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, disputed Ohio officials' account, saying the state never waived its hold on Beasley.
But Bill Holland, a spokesman for the Summit County, Ohio, sheriff, said Thursday that Texas Parole Authority officials said they wanted to wait until the outcome of the Akron drug case, "because if he was found not guilty, then there would be no parole violation."
Akron Municipal Court Judge James Murphy ordered Beasley's release on July 12. "Texas authorities are only interested in extradition if there is a conviction in Ohio," he wrote.
On Thursday, Beasley was wheeled into court in Akron on the drug charge, which alleges he was illegally dealing prescription painkillers in November 2010. Beasley's head bobbed rhythmically, and he later ignored questions about the mounting body count and his relationship with a teen murder suspect.
Beasley, unshaved and dressed in a white and gray striped jail outfit, didn't speak and kept his head down as Summit County Common Pleas Judge Tammy O'Brien revoked his bond on the drug-trafficking charge.
The legal problems faced by Beasley, a 52-year-old self-styled chaplain and youth mentor, are mounting: His attorney said a prostitution case involving Beasley and a 17-year-old boy would be upgraded with a racketeering charge Friday.
The drug and prostitution cases in Akron are unrelated to a widening Craigslist homicide investigation.
In that case, 16-year-old Brogan Rafferty, of nearby Stow, faces juvenile charges of aggravated murder, complicity to aggravated murder, attempted murder and complicity to attempted murder in the death of one man and the shooting of another.
The complaint against Rafferty says he participated in the crimes with Beasley, who has not been charged in the Craigslist case.
Beasley walked into court but later complained that he felt ill, and he was wheeled by deputies before the judge. He ignored reporters' questions outside court on whether there are more buried bodies and about his relationship with Rafferty.
His attorney, Rhonda Kotnik, said later that Beasley's mother is worried that he has displayed symptoms of a stroke. Beasley is taking medication for back pain, Kotnik said.
His emotional state "is distraught. He's alert, he's in pain because of his issues, his back issues," she said.
Kotnik said earlier this week that Texas had wanted Beasley held regardless of his circumstances.
"They said we don't want to waste our gas to come down there if he hasn't been convicted of anything," she said Tuesday. "So Texas wanted him held, but you can't do that, you can't hold somebody indefinitely in a jail if they post bond."
The bond revocation in the drug case for failing to appear for a Sept. 6 trial and the $1 million bond in the prostitution case allow authorities to hold Beasley as the Craigslist investigation continues.
A 15-count count indictment returned Wednesday charges Beasley with promoting prostitution and, in the case of a 17-year-old boy, compelling prostitution. The teen's involvement allegedly occurred from early November 2009 through late December 2010.
Kotnik said Beasley would fight the drug charge. He claims he was entrapped by an informant who was involved in a drug deal.
Welsh-Huggins, who reported from Columbus, can be reached at http://twitter.com/awhcolumbus.