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Akron man charged in shooting of woman in CVNP reservation

From staff reports Published: August 21, 2016 12:00 AM

An Akron man has been charged in the shooting last month of a woman in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park reservation.

According to court documents from the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Dezay Martell Ely, 27, has been charged with attempt to commit murder and discharging a firearm during and in relation to crime of violence.

On Aug. 12, he was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals and a preliminary and detention hearing is set for Aug. 19.

The FBI had taken over the multi-jurisdictional investigation of an 18-year-old woman found by runners July 3 lying in a Peninsula field within the CVNP reservation. She had been shot in the head multiple times. She was identified a few days later after her family reported her missing.

According to affidavits from FBI Special Agent Christopher W. Fassler, authorities were led to Ely, aka "Scrap," through a phone number called from the victim's cellphone. That phone number was linked to a social media account for an individual who identified himself as Ely's brother.

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A search of both men's social media pages "indicated that they are both 'friends' with the victim," according to the affidavits. A witness told the FBI that the victim has been staying with a man who went by the name of "Scrap."

According to the court documents, FBI agents attempted to interview Ely in mid-July at the Summit County Jail where he was being held on an unrelated Ohio post release control violation. Ely had been convicted in July 2008 of aggravated robbery with a firearm, involuntary manslaughter with a firearm and aggravated robbery with a firearm specification, all felonies. He was incarcerated in August 2009 and released in November 2015.

According to the agents, Ely did not provide a statement but the agents "observed Ely had a tattoo of 'Scrap' on one of his forearms."

The victim was found by runners in the park July 3 and was transported to an Akron hospital, where she was placed in a medically induced coma. She was interviewed by FBI agents after her doctor deemed her recovered enough to make a statement.

In an interview in August with the FBI, the victim identified Ely as the shooter. She told agents she had ridden in a vehicle with Ely and another man to the park location, where Ely planned to test a gun he had purchased. After shooting the gun "a couple times," the victim said Ely told her the gun had jammed and when she looked over at him, she said he shot her three times in the head and fled.

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