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Second suspect in body dumping case pleads not guilty

| May 18, 2022
Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Ernest has set bond at $75,000 for Daniel Fitzgerald, 38, of Akron, who's charged in connection with the dumping of Amber Sherrell along White Bridge Road last October.

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (May 18, 2022) – The man accused of helping his girlfriend dump a Dover woman’s body alongside a Goshen Township Road last October is contesting a grand jury indictment charging him with gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

38-year-old Daniel Fitzgerald pleaded not guilty to those counts and a misdemeanor charge of tampering with evidence during his arraignment in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Tuesday afternoon. Assistant County Prosecutor Scott Deedrick asked Judge Michael Ernest to set a cash or surety bond of at least $50,000 due to Fitzgerald’s history of trying to subvert the judicial process.

“He has a conviction for attempted escape. He has a conviction for escape. He has five separate convictions that I’ve been able to find of failing to register an address based on a sexual offense registration requirement. He has criminal convictions in Franklin and Summit County. He has an obstruction conviction. We showed that there was a warrant still outstanding for failing to appear on recognizance bail.” 

Judge Michael Ernest upped that to $75,000, denying a request from Fitzgerald’s attorney that he be placed on pretrial supervision with a GPS ankle monitor.

“While GPS bracelets are good, I find that they basically just let people know when someone has stopped complying. We know they’re gone, but it doesn’t help us after they’re gone.”  

Investigators say Fitzgerald and 26-year-old Cekoyia Riechers left the body of 38-year-old Amber Sherell along White Bridge Road days after she died from a drug overdose. Fitzgerald must report immediately to the county jail upon his release from the Lorain Correctional Institution where he’s being held for a parole violation. Riechers previously pleaded not guilty to the same charges he’s facing with an additional tampering count.

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