Three charged in murders of Cleveland detective, informant during ‘attempted robbery’

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Three people have now been charged in the murders of Cleveland police detective James Skernivitz, and Scott Dingess, who sources close to the case said had been working as an informant in a drug investigation.

According to a complaint from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Court Division, Kevin Robinson, 17, is charged with murder, aggravated murder, felonious assault and aggravated robbery.

David McDaniel Jr., 18, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder in their deaths. The charges state that McDaniel and two other suspects shot and killed the officer and Dingess “during an attempted robbery of the victims.”

David McDaniel (photo courtesy: Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department)

Earlier, multiple sources told the I-Team a third suspect — a juvenile — was arrested. Cleveland police said that juvenile is 15 years old. He turned himself in to investigators, according to a press release. He has also been charged.

“I want to commend the investigators in this case who dedicated every waking moment to ensure that the individuals responsible for this terrible crime were properly identified and taken into custody,” said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin D. Williams.  “I am thankful to the citizens who came forward with information.  Furthermore, I want to thank the community members who have offered their kind words of support and prayers.  They are truly appreciated.”

“It is with a heavy heart that we make the announcement of the three individuals arrested believed to be responsible for the shooting death of our law enforcement colleague, Detective James Skernivitz,” said Special Agent in Charge, Eric Smith, Federal Bureau of Investigation.  “The swift investigation completed by law enforcement, with numerous tips provided from the community, has been commendable – a true partnership.  These three individuals will be held accountable for their heinous actions.   Our continued thoughts and prayers to the Skernivitz family and our partners at the Cleveland Division of Police.”

Monday, the I-Team reported Cleveland police were questioning two more people — an adult and a juvenile– about the deadly shooting last week of the officer and informant.

On Friday, police rounded up two juveniles and an adult for questioning about the case. The I-Team reported they were cleared in the officer investigation. They were arrested on warrants for other crimes.

Last Thursday night, Detective Skernivitz was shot and killed along with Dingess while sitting in a car off W. 65th.

Cleveland police detective James Skernivitz (Photo courtesy: Cleveland Division of Police)

Officials initially said they did not have a motive for the police shooting.

Sunday, authorities announced up to $35,000 in reward money for tips on the case.

The funeral for the detective will be held on Friday.

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