Charges dismissed against 3rd suspect in murder of Cleveland car dealership couple

Charges dismissed against 3rd suspect in murder of Cleveland car dealership couple
Jerome Diggs

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Charges were dismissed Thursday against the third suspect charged in the murders of Trina Tomola and Michael Kuznik, the owners of a car dealership in the city’s Collinwood neighborhood.

Michael and Trina Kuznik
Michael and Trina Kuznik

Jerome Diggs was indicted on the charges of aggravated murder, felonious assault, murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, kidnapping, grant theft, injuring animals and cruelty to animals.

“This decision was reached given the current evidence against this co-defendant and taking into consideration the approval of this resolution by the victim’s family as they seek closure. If and when more evidence becomes available, the State has reserved the right to refile charges against this individual,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley.

Tomola and Kuznik owned Mr. Cars II on East 185th Street.

The couple and their dog were shot and killed at the business on April 14, 2017.

According to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors, Diggs, Andrew Keener and Joseph McAlpin drove to the dealership to steal cars.

The three men allegedly planned to sell the cars and split the profit.

Prosecutors said McAlpin went into the dealership, while Keener and Diggs waited outside.

Joseph McAlpin at sentencing
Joseph McAlpin at sentencing (Source: WOIO)

McAlpin then shot the couple and their dog before stealing keys to a BMW and a Mercedes and cash.

McAlpin drove off in the BMW and Keener drove off in the Mercedes.

Diggs allegedly followed them in their original vehicle.

Family members found the bodies of the couple later that day.

Diggs, McAlpin and Keener were all arrested by Cleveland police several months after the murders.

A jury found McAlpin guilty and he was sentenced to death in May 2019.

Keener pleaded guilty and testified against McAlpin, but has not yet been sentenced.

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