Cuyahoga County

McAlpin Faces Death Penalty for Murder of Car Lot Owners

9/1/2017

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that Joseph McAlpin was re-indicted on capital charges for the murder of Trina Tomola and Michael Kuznik.

“The Capital Review Committee thoroughly reviewed the facts and circumstances surrounding this case and the decision was made to seek capital charges against McAlpin,” said Prosecutor O’Malley.

McAlpin, 29, was originally indicted on 25 counts including Aggravated Murder, Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Burglary, Murder, Kidnapping, Felonious Assault, and Burglary, and Cruelty to Animals.

The new indictment, returned by a Grand Jury, includes five capital specifications: one for the course of conduct for the shooting deaths of Tomola and Kuznik; three felony murder specifications for kidnapping, aggravated burglary, and aggravated robbery; and one specification for committing the murders while on post-release control for aggravated robbery.

Kuznik, 50, and his wife Tomola, 46, owned Mr. Cars II on East 185th Street. On April 14, 2017, McAlpin broke into the car lot, shot and killed the couple along with their dog, and stole a vehicle. Cleveland Police conducted the investigation and arrested McAlpin on June 13.

Read the indictment here.