Man turns 50 for murdering detective and informant

CLEVELAND (AP) — A man convicted of shooting dead an undercover cop and his confidential informant in Ohio 2 1/2 years ago has been sentenced to 50 years to life in prison.

David McDaniel, 21, was 18 when prosecutors said he and two other people tried to rob Det. James Skernivitz and Scott Dingess after they were seen handling money in an unmarked police car parked at a West Side mall in Cleveland in September 2020.

Authorities said Skernivitz, 53, tried to drive away, but McDaniel and another suspect opened fire, killing him and Dingess, 50. Authorities said the group were unaware that Skernivitz was an undercover cop with the Cleveland Police Department.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Shaughnessy on Thursday sentenced McDaniel to life in prison, eligible for parole after 50 years, telling the defendant, “Over a few bucks, look at the destruction you caused.” , reported The victims had about $80 on them, prosecutors said.

McDaniel, who pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and aggravated robbery, apologized several times and spoke directly to Skernivitz’s widow and children, who sat in the jury box. He said he thinks of her and Dingess’ family every night before he goes to bed.

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“You can all hate me. I understand that,” he said. “I ruined three families that day. Nobody deserves to die.”

But he insisted that he and the others didn’t want to kill anyone.

“I was just a kid,” he said. “I’m not a bad person. I just made a bad decision.”

A second suspect, Kevin Robinson, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, pleaded guilty last summer and was sentenced to 28 years to life in prison. Another defendant, who was 15 years old at the time and did not fire a shot, pleaded guilty to aggravated murder in August 2021 and was sentenced to youth imprisonment by the State Youth Welfare Office.

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