Jury recommends death for Joseph McAlpin; formal sentencing for murders of Cleveland car dealership couple set for May 21

Joseph McAlpin cross-examines a witness while representing himself in a murder case (Source:...
Joseph McAlpin cross-examines a witness while representing himself in a murder case (Source: WOIO)
Updated: May. 16, 2019 at 12:39 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The jury in the high-profile murder case of a couple who owned a car dealership in Cleveland recommended the death sentence for Joseph McAlpin.

The jury began deliberating in the death penalty phase of the Joseph McAlpin trial around 11 a.m. Thursday and reached a verdict approximately 30 minutes later.

It was the jury’s task to decide whether McAlpin would spend life in prison or be sentenced to death.

On April 16, McAlpin was convicted of murdering a Cleveland husband and wife at their car dealership, Mr. Cars, on East 185th Street in Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood.

Trina Tomola, Michael Kuznik and their dog were all shot in April of 2017.

Several cars and cash were also stolen.

The couple’s son found their bodies later that evening.

McAlpin represented himself at the trial, which began on March 18, in front of Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Brian Corrigan.

Jerome Diggs and Andrew Keener are also charged in connection with the double murder. Keener pleaded guilty and testified against McAlpin.

He was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, but the sentencing was continued and there is no new date set at this time.

Diggs has a pre-trial appearance scheduled for June 3.

McAlpin will return to the courtroom on May 21 at 1 p.m. where the judge will formally sentence the convicted murderer.

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