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Who Gets Highway Shooting Reward Money Remains Unclear

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The capture of the suspect in the deadly highway shooting spree 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 28-year-old Charles A. McCoy Jr. was arrested in the parking lot of a low-budget motel in Las Vegas.

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

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

Conrad Malsom, an out-of-work salesman, recognized McCoy after spotting him in a casino sports book reading a newspaper article about himself. He later tracked down McCoy's car at the motel where he was staying.

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 mm 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 Gail Knisley, the only person struck in the shootings.

Lab tests showed that bullets from nine of the shootings -- including Knisley's slaying -- were fired from the same gun.

As of Thursday, McCoy was only charged in an arrest warrant with felonious assault for a shooting with a 9 mm 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.

Most of the reward money came from area businesses. Shannon Sparks, 61, said he felt compelled to donate $5,000 because he has many family members who live in the Columbus area where most of the shootings happened.

"I have a lot of relatives that drive that road, and I've got one aunt that drives it to go to near where that man lives, to church, no less, and she started taking a different route," he said.

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