A Cuyahoga County man has been indicted on charges of cultivating and trafficking marijuana in connection with the shooting death of 19-year-old Cody Snyder.
Thomas Turner, 52, of Middleburg Heights, has been indicted on counts of illegal manufacture of drugs or cultivation of marijuana, drug trafficking, drug possession and possessing criminal tools by a Cuyahoga County grand jury.
Turner is the father of Jenna Turner, 19, who police say was at the scene when Snyder was shot in the chest during a drug deal that went bad Jan. 23 on Clinton Avenue in Elyria.
Middleburg Heights police assisted Elyria police detectives with the execution of a search warrant on the Turner residence, on Cherokee Trail, on Jan. 25, a Middleburg Heights police report said.
The search warrant was obtained through the Berea Municipal Court to search the residence for weapons, a backpack, marijuana and “any other evidence of aggravated murder.”
“Elyria detectives explained to us how an occupant of the residence, Jenna Turner, was being investigated for tampering with evidence associated with a drug transaction turned aggravated murder,” the report said.
During the search of the residence, police located a marijuana-growing operation containing 11 plants, six grow lights, two large filters, numerous forms of fertilizers, two digital thermometers, items used to cultivate marijuana and approximately 750 grams of 12 pre-packaged marijuana in the basement of the home.
The marijuana was divided up and packaged into different sized quantities — three bags marked ‘QP’ that weighed approximately one-quarter pound each, one bag marked 84 grams and eight bags of marijuana weighing approximately 1 ounce each were secured together in a large zip-close bag, the report said. Mason jars, a garbage can and zip-close bag, also found in the basement, contained marijuana plant material.
“All of these items were located in plain view while searching the residence for items described in the search warrant, however, Elyria detectives requested our agency secure the above items and pursue appropriate charges against the home owner,” the Middleburg Heights police report said.
Thomas Turner told police he has owned the home since December 2015 and said the marijuana plants and pre-packaged marijuana were all his. He said he grew the marijuana for personal use only to help with pain relief from a back injury.
Thomas Turner furnished a written statement to police “in which he admits to growing his own marijuana because he cannot afford to buy it and he is scared to purchase weed not knowing what is in it.”
Police have said Jeffrey Miraldi, 20, of Elyria, was driving a 2014 Ford Focus on Jan. 23 on Clinton Avenue, along with his girlfriend, Jenna Turner and Snyder as they went to an alleged drug deal. The three planned to sell a half pound of marijuana to two juveniles, ages 16 and 17, for $1,400, police said.
Police said they couldn’t say whether the marijuana that was to be sold to the juveniles came from Thomas Turner.
The juveniles allegedly planned to rob Miraldi, Snyder and Turner during the deal and enlisted the help of 18-year-old Kajaun Anderson, police said. While the transaction was taking place, Anderson allegedly opened the back door of the vehicle and pointed a gun inside. A confrontation ensued and Snyder allegedly was shot in the chest by Anderson, police said.
Miraldi drove Snyder to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center where Snyder died from his injuries, police said.
In addition to the gun police say Anderson used to shoot Snyder, there was another gun at the scene of the shooting, one acquired by Miraldi, according to police. Miraldi disposed of the firearm after Snyder died, police said.
The car Miraldi was driving during the incident was registered to his father, county Common Pleas Judge John Miraldi. The elder Miraldi is not under investigation.
Jeff Miraldi has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, multiple counts of tampering with evidence and trafficking in marijuana and was released last week after posting bond. Jenna Turner also has been charged with multiple counts of tampering with evidence and is out on bond.
Anderson and the two juveniles have been charged with aggravated murder in connection to the killing of Snyder. The state is seeking to try the juveniles as adults.
The Chronicle-Telegram typically does not identify juveniles charged with crimes unless their cases are transferred to the adult justice system.
Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.
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