Akron man sentenced to life for shooting woman in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

CLEVELAND - An Akron man was sentenced to life in prison for shooting a woman in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park last year, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney's office.

Officials said DeZay M. Ely, 28, was sentenced after he previously pleaded guilty to attempted murder, discharging a firearm during a crime and possessing ammunition while a felon.

Ely was sentenced to 20 years in prison on the attempted murder charge and given a consecutive life in prison sentence on the discharging a firearm charge, the attorney's office said.

Previously, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Todd Wickerman said the shooting was not a random crime.

"This was a person that knew the victim," Wickerham said.

On July 3, 2016, park rangers found the victim lying beaten and bloody in an open field.

The woman had reportedly been shot multiple times in the head and face, police said.

Eli was arrested by authorities the next month.

"This defendant took a firearm into a national park and tried to murder a young woman,” U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. “He left her with lifelong, serious injuries. Our community is a safer place with him behind bars.”

According to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Ely previously served eight years in prison for aggravated robbery and involuntary manslaughter charges. He was released in November of 2015.

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