NewsContinuing CoverageJames Skernivitz


Man pleads guilty to murder charges for death of Cleveland Police Officer James Skernivitz

Also pleaded guilty to murder of police informant Scott Dingess
James Skernivitz
Posted at 5:25 PM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 22:52:33-04

A 21-year-old man who was charged with the 2020 shooting deaths of Cleveland Police Officer James Skernivitz, 53, and police informant, Scott Dingess, 50, has pleaded guilty to charges in connection with their murders.

According to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, the defendant, David McDaniel, 21, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated murder and two counts of aggravated robbery. Additionally, he pleaded guilty to one count of abduction in an unrelated case.

The shooting happened on Sept. 3, 2020 near West 57th Street and West 67th Place.

Authorities say McDaniel and another individual, Kevin Robinson— who was 17 years old at the time— as well as a 15-year-old who was with them, went up to a car that Skernivitz and Dingess were sitting in and tried to rob them. McDaniel and Robinson shot at the vehicle multiple times, striking both occupants and the trio then ran off. Skernivitz and Dingess were taken to a nearby hospital where they were pronounced dead.

Detectives tracked McDaniel, Robinson and the teen down over the next few days and all three were arrested.

Robinson pleaded guilty to the same charges as McDaniel in July 2022 and was sentenced to 28 years to life in prison.

Three other individuals, Brittany Cremeans, Rodney Cremeans and Antonio Darby, were later arrested and charged for disposing of the murder weapons.

Brittany Cremeans pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with evidence and two counts of obstructing justice on Sept. 14, 2022 and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Rodney Cremeans pleaded guilty on April 27, 2022 to one count of attempted tampering with evidence and one count of attempted obstructing justice and was sentenced to two years of probation. Antonio Darby pleaded guilty on Dec. 13, 2022 to one count of tampering with evidence and two counts of obstructing justice and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

McDaniel will be sentenced on April 13.

“The death of Detective Skernivitz and the citizen who volunteered to assist him were a result of senseless acts of gun violence and remains a heart-breaking day for our community,” said Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley. “This tragedy has impacted all of us, and I hope today helps provide the families, fellow officers, and our community with some semblance of justice.”

CLICK HERE to read News 5's previous coverage of James Skernivitz.

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