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Published: Thursday, 8/26/2004

Shell casings found in car of sniper suspect


COLUMBUS - Documents released yesterday show that shell casings were found in the vehicle of the man charged in a series of highway shootings, which prosecutors say support reports that he fired at some vehicles from inside his car.

Investigators found the casings inside the defroster of the green Chevrolet Metro belonging to Charles McCoy Jr. The vehicle was searched in March shortly after Mr. McCoy was arrested in Las Vegas.

Mr. McCoy, 28, has pleaded innocent to 24 counts of shootings from October through February, including the Nov. 25, 2003, shooting death of Gail Knisley, 62, along the southern section of the outer belt that circles Columbus.

A friend, Mary Cox, was driving Mrs. Knisley, a Washington Court House resident, to a doctor's appointment. A bullet ripped through the driver's side door, grazed Mrs. Cox, and struck Mrs. Knisley on the left side, killing her.

She was the only person hit in the attacks that occurred mostly around I-270 on the city's south side.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said the casings could corroborate witness reports that some of the shots were fired from inside a car.

Defense attorney S. Michael Miller said he couldn't comment on the evidence.

A Madison County Municipal Court judge released the results of the search warrant after a public records request from The Columbus Dispatch and television station WBNS.

In seeking the search warrant, the Franklin County sheriff's office said that investigators were looking for spent shell casings because they believed shots may have been fired inside and outside the car.

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