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Drive-by shooter pleads guilty

| March 26, 2024
Gavin Kurtz, 19, of New Philadelphia, pleads guilty to attempted murder and other charges for a drive by shooting last October. (WJER Radio)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 26, 2024) – The gunman in last year’s drive-by shooting in New Philadelphia is facing up to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to the charges against him.  

That’s the maximum prison term 19-year-old Gavin Kurtz could be ordered to serve for shooting at the victim while he and two others were standing on the front porch of a home on East High Avenue. Tuscarawas County Prosecutor Ryan Styer and Kurtz’s public defender have agreed to recommend 13 years but Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Ernest didn’t make any promises.

Kurtz was indicted for attempted murder, felonious assault, and improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle. He asked to be released on a GPS ankle monitor ahead of his sentencing on May 7th so he could visit with family but Ernest sent him back to jail instead.

“It helps with people as far as in some situations knowing their whereabouts. There are other concerns that I would have in this case for which the GPS would not address, and I intend to keep the bail where it’s at.”

Kurtz will have to serve a mandatory five years before any additional prison time Ernest imposes for the crimes because of the gun specifications attached to the charges.

The driver in the October 23rd shooting was Riley Adams – Kurtz’s former roommate – who’s serving 13 years behind bars for that case and an armed robbery he was accused of committing with the victim.

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