Teenager sentenced to death by undercover Cleveland detective, informant – Morning Journal
CLEVELAND – A teenager involved in a botched robbery that ended in the fatal shooting last year of an undercover Cleveland detective and his informant has been sentenced to the Ohio Youth Service Center.
The sentence handed down by the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court on Tuesday requires the 16-year-old to remain in custody until the age of 21. He could then be released if he is doing well during his stay in the establishment. but if not, he could face a sentence of 23 years in life imprisonment.
The teenager apologized to the family of Detective James Skernivitz, saying: “I do not expect immediate forgiveness because what I have done is unforgivable.”
Skernivitz, 53, and informant Scott Dingess, 50, were killed on September 3, 2020, while in an unmarked car preparing for a drug operation. A group of young people approached them and one of them fired several shots into the vehicle.
Married, a father of three and a 22-year Cleveland force member, Skernivitz was sworn in as a member of a federal violent crime task force the day before his assassination. Authorities did not say whether he was working, either for the task force or for the gang unit he was normally assigned to, when he was shot.
The teenager, who was 15 at the time and did not fire any shots, is the first person to plead guilty in the case. He pleaded guilty last month to two counts of aggravated murder.
As part of his plea deal, the teenager agreed to testify against his five other co-defendants, including the alleged shooter, who all pleaded not guilty.