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Suspect pleads guilty in murder of Cleveland Police Detective James Skernivitz; sentenced to life in prison

Kevin Robinson has been sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole after 28 years.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.

A 19-year-old has pleaded guilty to the murder of Cleveland Police Detective James Skernivitz and an informant.

According to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mike O'Malley, 19-year-old Kevin Robinson has pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated murder and two counts of robbery in connection with the killing of the 53-year-old Skernivitz and an informant, 50-year-old Scott Dingess, which took place on Sept. 3, 2020. In exchange for his pleas, Robinson -- who was due in court for a pretrial hearing on Wednesday -- has received a lifetime prison sentence, with his first eligibility for parole coming after 28 years.

Robinson was one of three suspects arrested in connection with Skernivitz's murder. Robinson was 17 years old at the time of the incident.

A 15-year-old boy previously pleaded guilty and will spend the next six years in a juvenile facility. If he does well at the facility, he will be released when he turns 21 years old. If not, he will be given an adult prison sentence of 23 years to life.

The other defendant in the case, David McDaniel, is facing capital murder charges related to the incident. McDaniel, who was 19 at the time of the murders, is due back in court at 8:30 a.m. on July 21, according to O'Malley.

According to authorities, McDaniel, Robinson and the then-15-year-old boy approached Skernivitz’s unmarked car in an apparent robbery attempt and fired rounds that killed the two men near the area of W. 65th Street and Storer Avenue. Skernivitz was working undercover at the time of the incident.

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