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19-Year-Old Indicted In Killing Of Cleveland Police Officer And Informant

A 19-year-old man was indicted Thursday for the murder of Cleveland police detective James Skernivitz, 53, and his informant, Scott Dingess, 50. 

David McDaniel was indicted on four counts of aggravated murder as well as several more counts of murder, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, tampering with evidence and one count of obstructing justice. 

Two other individuals, Brittany Cremeans, 24, and Antonio Darby, 27, were also indicted on charges of tampering with evidence and obstructing justice for their role in allegedly helping to dispose of the murder weapon. 

Another two juveniles were also arrested in connection with the crime. They are facing a litany of charges, including aggravated murder, in juvenile court. 

According to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, McDaniel and the two teenagers approached Skernivitz’s car on Sept. 3 around 10 p.m. and shot the detective as well as his informant multiple times before running away. After being shot, the detective crashed his car into a nearby playground. The two men were sitting in the detective's car near West 65th Street and Storer Avenue at the time of the shooting. 

When fellow Cleveland police officers did not receive a response from Skernivitz after trying to contact him, they went to investigate the scene. Both men were pronounced dead that night at a nearby hospital. 

McDaniel and one of the teenagers were arrested on Sept. 6 in connection with the crime, while the other teenager was arrested two days later. 

“Sadly, these types of random, senseless homicides happen in our community nearly every day,” Cuyahoga County Prosectuor Michael O’Malley said in a statement released Thursday. “This time the victims were a police officer on duty to make our community a better place and a citizen who volunteered to assist him. Two families are now without fathers and the entire community is left heartbroken due to yet another instance of senseless gun violence.”

McDaniel is being held on $3 million bond at the Cuyahoga County Jail. His arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 22 at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center. Creamans and Darby will both be arraigned on Oct. 1. The two juvenile defendants have an Oct. 27 court date and are being held at the Juvenile Detention Center. 

Cleveland Police held a procession and memorial service for Skernivitz on Sept. 11. He is survived by his wife and three children. 

According to his obituary, Dingess is survived by his wife, five children and one grandchild.

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