Ohio Sniper Suspect Awatis Extradition From Vegas

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The suspect in a 10-month string of deadly highway shootings will be transported from Nevada to Ohio on Saturday to face his first court appearance Monday, the prosecutor in the case said.

Charles A. McCoy Jr., waived extradition during a brief appearance Friday at which a Las Vegas judge accused him of "holding a community at bay" and "terrorizing" Ohio residents.

In Ohio, prosecutor Ron O'Brien issued a statement saying McCoy will return Saturday to Columbus and was due for an initial appearance in Franklin County Municipal Court on Monday.

O'Brien has said his staff was exploring whether to seek the death penalty, a routine practice in homicide cases.

Curtis Brown, a deputy Clark County public defensder who appeared in Las Vegas Justice Court with McCoy, said Ohio authorities were not able to immediately arrange air travel for McCoy.

McCoy had spoken with investigators, but was refusing to see other visitors at Clark County jail in Las Vegas, Brown said.

McCoy's lawyer in Columbus, Andrew Haney, did not respond to requests for comment.

McCoy, 28, of Columbus, wore blue jail clothing and was shackled at the wrists during his brief appearance before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Douglas Smith.

"You want to go back to Ohio?" Smith asked. McCoy replied that he did, and acknowledged that he voluntarily signed a waiver of his right to a hearing in Nevada to contest the Ohio arrest warrant.

During the hearing, which lasted little more than a minute, McCoy answered "yes" to questions from the judge, including whether he understood the proceedings.

Afterward, Franklin County, Ohio, sheriff's Detective Zachary Scott who is in Las Vegas as part of the investigation said police recovered a handgun during a search of McCoy's car and motel room. McCoy was arrested Wednesday outside a low-budget motel near the Las Vegas Strip.

Two sources familiar with the inventory of items seized, including one in the police department, said the weapon was a 9mm Baretta semiautomatic pistol, and that police also found ammunition in McCoy's motel room.

Police said McCoy had checked in about 24 hours earlier using his real name, and readily identified himself when he was apprehended.

The judge ordered McCoy held without bail until his extradition, citing the nature of the charges and injuries to the victims.

McCoy is charged with assault, but faces additional charges when he returns to Ohio, Scott said.

"We've got to put all the pieces together when we get home," he said.

McCoy was named as a suspect Monday by Ohio authorities who issued a bulletin saying McCoy was believed to have mental health problems and a handgun.

The shootings around Interstate 270 and two nearby highways began May 10, but intensified in fall, terrorizing motorists and pocking cars, homes and an elementary school with bullet holes.

Gail Knisley, 62, was shot and killed Nov. 25 while a friend drove her to a doctor's appointment.

McCoy was named as a suspect in a warrant charging him with felonious assault in a Dec. 15 shooting that damaged a house about two miles north of I-270. Bullets from that shooting were matched in lab tests with the bullet that killed Knisley and those found in seven other shootings.


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