Prosecutors seek death penalty in Cleveland car dealership murders

Joseph McAlpin (Photo courtesy: Cuyahoga County Proseuctor's Office)

CLEVELAND– The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office will seek the death penalty for the man accused of killing a married couple at a Cleveland car dealership.

Trina Tomola, 46, and Michael Kuznik, 50, owned Mr. Cars on East 185th Street. Their 19-year-old son was unable to get in touch with his parents and found them dead at the car lot on April 14.

Prosecutors said Joseph McAlpin broke into the dealership, then shot and killed the couple and their dog. He’s also accused of stealing a car.

Cleveland police identified McAlpin as a suspect through DNA evidence and arrested him on June 13. He was originally indicted on 25 counts, including aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and cruelty to animals.

A Cuyahoga County grand jury returned a new indictment with death penalty specifications against the 29-year-old suspect.

“The Capital Review Committee thoroughly reviewed the facts and circumstances surrounding this case and the decision was made to seek capital charges against McAlpin,” said Prosecutor Michael O’Malley in a news release on Friday.

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