Two more sus­pects charged in Ohio killings

Dayton Daily News - - LOCAL & STATE -

Two more CLEVE­LAND — sus­pects are charged in the April 14 slay­ing of a cou­ple at their used-car busi­ness in Cleve­land’s Collinwood neigh­bor­hood.

Jerome Diggs Jr., 23, and An­drew Keener, 24, both of Cleve­land, are each charged with ag­gra­vated mur­der in the deaths of Michael Kuznik, 47, and Trina To­mola, 46, of­fi­cials an­nounced at a Mon­day news con­fer­ence.

The men ap­peared for ar­raign­ment Mon­day, when a Cleve­land Mu­nic­i­pal Court judge set their bonds at $1 mil­lion apiece, court records say.

A third sus­pect, Joseph McAlpin, 29, was ar­rested in June, and a grand jury later handed up a 25-count in­dict­ment against him, in­clud­ing charges of ag­gra­vated mur­der, ag­gra­vated rob­bery, ag­gra­vated bur­glary. He’s also ac­cused of shoot­ing the cou­ple’s Rot­tweiler, Axel.

Pros­e­cu­tors are seek­ing the death penalty against McAlpin.

Kuznik and To­mola were “ba­si­cally ex­e­cuted” in­side Mr. Cars Inc. on East 185th Street as they were pre­par­ing to close their shop for the day, Cleve­land po­lice Chief Calvin Wil­liams said.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors on Mon­day did not say why they be­lieve Diggs and Keener are linked to the killings, but at­trib­uted the de­vel­op­ments to de­tec­tive work and tips from the pub­lic.

Keener was ar­rested Fri­day at his work­place in Wil­loughby, U.S. Mar­shal Pete El­liott said. Keener had been tipped off that po­lice were com­ing for him, and mar­shals even­tu­ally found him hid­ing on a shelf be­hind some plas­tic, El­liott said.

Diggs was ar­rested Satur­day at his work­place on Ohio 82 near Strongsville, El­liott said.

To­mola’s son went to the deal­er­ship about 9:30 p.m. on April 14, con­cerned that the pair hadn’t re­turn to their Eu­clid home after work. The 19-year-old found both of them dead in­side the busi­ness.

Kuznik was found near his desk with a gun­shot wound to the back of his head, and To­mola was found near a back door with a gun­shot wound to the back of her head.

The at­tack­ers stole two cars from the lot: a blue 2006 Mercedes SL, and a 2006 BMW 528I. The BMW was later found aban­doned in the 3300 block of West 48th Street.

Also stolen was a bag of car keys, which was re­cov­ered.

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