ELYRIA — Three people pleaded not guilty in connection with the January murder of 19-year-old Cody Snyder before Visiting Judge Robert Brown on Thursday morning.
Kajaun Anderson, 18, of Elyria, pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated murder, murder, aggravated robbery, robbery and tampering with evidence. Police say Anderson shot Snyder in the chest during a drug deal gone bad.
Jeffrey Miraldi, 20, of Elyria, pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter, trafficking in drugs, four counts of tampering with evidence, possession of drugs and permitting drug abuse. Police say Miraldi was driving the car in which Snyder was shot, was responsible for setting up the alleged drug deal and brought a gun with him.
Miraldi is the son of Lorain County Judge John Miraldi, who owns the vehicle the younger Miraldi was driving at the time of the incident. The elder Miraldi is not under investigation.
Jenna Turner, 19, of Middleburg Heights, pleaded not guilty to three counts of tampering with evidence. Turner was in the vehicle with Snyder and Jeffrey Miraldi at the time of the shooting, according to police. Police say Turner tried to delete text messages off Snyder’s phone after the shooting.
Nearly all the charges for the three include firearm specifications that the person had a firearm on or about them while committing the offenses.
In addition to a visiting judge being brought in to handle the cases, a special prosecutor from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office has been brought for the prosecution of all Lorain County cases related to Snyder’s death.
Police say Miraldi was driving a 2014 Ford Focus Jan. 23 on Clinton Avenue, along with Turner and Snyder for 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.
The juveniles allegedly planned to rob Miraldi, Snyder and Turner during the deal and enlisted the help of 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 was shot in the chest by Anderson, police said.
Miraldi drove Snyder to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center, where Snyder died of his injuries, police said.
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. A hearing on the state’s motion to try them as adults is scheduled for April 18.
Anderson is being held in Lorain County Jail on $1 million bond. Miraldi and Turner are both out of jail after posting bond.
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