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Teen sentenced in shooting death of undercover Cleveland detective, informant

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An Ohio teenager has been sentenced to a term in a youth services facility in connection to the fatal shooting of an undercover Cleveland detective and his informant, according to The Associated Press.

In a sentencing hearing on Tuesday, a Cuyahoga County judge called for an unidentified 16-year-old defendant to remain in custody at a juvenile dentition center until he’s 21 years old. 

The teen has the possibility of being released from the facility if he does well, but can still face an additional 23-years-to-life prison sentence, according to the AP. 

The minor, who was 15 at the time, was involved in the shooting deaths of the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) Detective James Skernivitz and informant Scott Dingess in September of 2020. 

Skernivitz, 53, and Dingess, 50, were killed after a group of young people approached their unmarked car while they were preparing for a drug operation, according to the wire service. One of the youths fired shots into the car. 

Skernivitz, a married father of three and 22-year veteran of the force, was sworn into the division’s federal violent crime task force a day prior, the AP reported. 

News of the teen’s sentencing comes after he agreed to testify against his five co-defendants as part of his plea deal. He was charged with two counts of aggravated murder. He did not fire any of the shots at the detective or informant, according to the AP.   

The other minors involved in the case have pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

During the hearing, the teen addressed the family of Skernivitz, stating: “I don’t expect immediate forgiveness because what I’ve done is unforgivable.”

Tags Cleveland Cleveland Division of Police Ohio police shooting

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