McDaniel had pleaded guilty to killing Cleveland Police Detective James Skernivitz and a man who was with him.
But, before McDaniel faced Judge Michael Shaughnessy for sentencing, he had to face the officer’s family.
Bailey Skernivitz, the officer’s daughter, said, “I will never get a chance to see my dad again.”
And, Kristen Skernivitz, the officer’s wife, told McDaniel, “You are nothing but a piece of s—.”
McDaniel apologized, and he tried to explain, saying, “Can’t fix your family. And I apologize for that.”
He added, “Yes, I was 18. But, I was still a kid. I never wanted anything like this to happen to nobody.”
Cuyahoga County prosecutors say back in 2020, McDaniel and some buddies had gone out to the west side of Cleveland to rob somebody else. But, they ended up targeting the detective working undercover.
The I-Team obtained part of the Cleveland police interrogation. It shows McDaniel describing the moment he opened fire. And, how he had no idea he’d shot a police officer.
McDaniel told investigators, “I heard, I thought it was gunshots inside the car. That’s what made me shoot. I shot in the back of the car.’
He later said, “We didn’t know it was a cop. We didn’t know he was undercover. We didn’t know nothing until we watched the news.”
David McDaniel was the last to walk into court to get punished in this case.
Earlier, an accomplice who was 17 at the time of the crime was sentenced to 28 years to life in prison. Three adults have also been convicted for trying to cover up the crime and get rid of the murder weapon.
Judge Shaughnessy issued a sentence of 50 to life, recommended by Cuyahoga County prosecutors.
Many police officers also showed up at the sentencing to see justice for a friend. A popular co-worker and hard-working detective who was known as ‘Skern.’
As McDaniel left court, the detective’s family promised to see him in 50 years at his first parole hearing.
Kristen Skernivitz said, “You murdered a man whose life was dedicated to protecting people like you from people like you.”