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Reward at Issue in Ohioan's Arrest

March 19, 2004|From Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The capture of a suspect in the deadly highway shooting spree that terrorized motorists here has prompted questions about who should get the $60,000 reward -- the man who recognized him at a Las Vegas casino or family members who reportedly turned him in.

"It makes it very difficult because there's so many pieces of the puzzle," Central Ohio Crime Stoppers director Kevin Miles said Thursday.

The questions about the reward money came a day after Charles A. McCoy Jr., 28, was arrested in the parking lot of a motel in Las Vegas.

Investigators are looking into whether they have grounds to seek the death penalty for the shooting death of Gail Knisley, said Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien on Thursday.

McCoy's lawyer, Andrew Haney, said his client could be back in Ohio as soon as tonight.

Conrad Malsom, an out-of-work salesman, recognized McCoy after spotting him in a casino sports book reading a newspaper article about himself.

O'Brien said Malsom would be a candidate for the reward, along with "certain members" of McCoy's family. He would not identify the relatives or discuss what led authorities to suspect McCoy was the highway shooter.

The Columbus Dispatch, citing unidentified sources, has reported a relative of McCoy contacted police to say he could be a suspect, and McCoy's father gave authorities a 9-millimeter pistol that was matched to some of the bullet fragments recovered in the shootings.

According to the task force investigating the 24 shootings, the reward would go to "anyone that provides information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person" responsible for the Nov. 25 shooting of Knisley, the only person struck in the shootings.

As of Thursday, McCoy was only charged in an arrest warrant with felonious assault for a shooting with a 9-millimeter handgun that damaged a house in Columbus on Dec. 15.

For the reward to be given out, McCoy would have to be charged in Knisley's death.

Miles said he hoped to give out the reward in the next two months.

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