Teen pleads guilty to murders of Cleveland police officer and informant

Cleveland police detective James Skernivitz

James M. Skernivitz, Clevleand Police Department (End of Watch: Sept. 3, 2020)

CLEVELAND (AP/WJW) — A 15-year-old boy charged in the fatal shooting of an undercover Cleveland detective and his informant last year has pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated murder.

Detective James Skernivitz and informant Scott Dingess were killed on Sept. 3 in what authorities have said was a botched robbery.

The two men were in an unmarked car preparing for a drug operation when a group of youths approached them and one fired several shots into the vehicle.

The 15-year-old, who did not fire any shots, entered his plea Monday and is due to be sentenced on Aug. 31.

Prosecutors said the counts carry sentencing enhancements that stipulate the boy must serve time in the state’s youth services facility until he turns 21.

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 in the case.

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.

David McDaniel

McDaniel faces the death penalty.

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