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

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

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.

McAlpin verdict read - VOD - clipped version

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.

Michael Kuznik and Trina Tomola were murdered inside their Collinwood car dealership in April of 2017.
Michael Kuznik and Trina Tomola were murdered inside their Collinwood car dealership 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.

Andrew Keener pleaded guilty in connection with the murders of Michael Kuznik and Trina Tomola. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.
Andrew Keener pleaded guilty in connection with the murders of Michael Kuznik and Trina Tomola. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

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.

Jerome Diggs is facing charges in connection with the murders Michael Kuznik and Trina Tomola.
Jerome Diggs is facing charges in connection with the murders Michael Kuznik and Trina Tomola.

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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