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Arraignments begin for drive-by shooting suspects

| December 13, 2023

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Dec. 13, 2023) – Four of the seven co-defendants in a drive-by shooting case out of New Philadelphia remain in jail after pleading not guilty to attempted murder, felonious assault, and gun charges

19-year-olds Riley Adams and Gavin Kurtz were arraigned by video Tuesday before Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Ernest, who set bond at $100,000 each. Prosecutor Ryan Styer identified Adams as the driver in the October 23rd shooting outside of a home on East High Avenue and Kurtz as the gunman.

“It was Mr. Adams’ AR-15 that he had, that he loaded, that he took with him and sat in the rear middle seat of Mr. Adams’ car as they drove by and he pulled the trigger and fired two shots.”

21-year-old Xavier Schott of New Philadephia was arraigned for his alleged role the same afternoon. He’ll be back in court next Wednesday for a hearing to determine whether he should continue to be jailed without bond after picking up an intimidation charge.

“He was arrested, appeared in municipal court, was given a $5,000 bail. He posted bond on that. The muncipal court had as a very specific condition that he is to have no contact with his co-defendants of the victims here. Last week, he sent I belive Facebook messages to one of the victims.”  

The suspect Styer described as the least culpable – 21-year-old Matthew M. Miller of Uhrichsville – was released on pre-trial supervision following his arraignment. Ernest on Wednesday continued the $10,000 bond the lower court set for 20-year-old William Baldez of Dover, who can’t bail out of jail because of a hold order from Stark County. The remaining co-defendants are 20-year-old John Hoopingarner and 19-year-old Robert Meek II, both of New Philadelphia, who have yet to appear in court to enter formal pleas to the charges.

The target of the shooting and two others were standing on the porch at the time. Police say all took cover and made it through unharmed.

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