NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Oct. 19, 2022) – A Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court judge has rescheduled the trial against the second suspect in the dumping of a Dover woman’s body last October.
39-year-old Daniel Fitzgerald of Akron was scheduled to be tried this week for abusing the corpse of Amber Sherell and tampering with evidence, but Judge Michael Ernest pushed the proceedings back to January after Fitzgerald’s public defender filed a motion questioning the legality of his confession. Fitzgerald is being represented by Attorney Richard Drake, who claims the detective who interrogated him at the Summit County Jail asked him to sign a form agreeing to waive his Constitutional rights without properly explaining it.
“They said, ‘Do you understand your rights?’ ‘Yeah.’ Well, they said ‘sign this.’ They never said do you want to waive your rights.”
Fitzgerald is accused of helping 26-year-old Cekoyia Reichers dump Sherell’s body along White Bridge Road in Goshen Township days after her death from a drug overdose in Reichers’ home. Drake has asked Ernest to suppress from jurors Fitzgerald’s confession and other statements he made during his January 31st interview with Lt. Adam Fisher. A video of the exchange that prosecutors played during the hearing shows Fisher explaining Fitzgerald’s rights and asking him to sign the form to indicate that he understood them.
Reichers is serving a three-year prison term after pleading guilty to the same charges Fitzgerald is facing. Ernest didn’t immediately issue a ruling on Drake’s motion.