updated 3/19/2004 1:56:40 PM ET 2004-03-19T18:56:40

A man suspected of peppering Ohio highways with gunfire for 10 months, killing a passenger in one vehicle, agreed to extradition during a Nevada court appearance Friday.

Charles A. McCoy Jr. could be returned to Columbus, Ohio, as early as Friday night, said his Columbus attorney, Andrew Haney.

During the brief hearing, McCoy answered yes to a series of questions from Judge Douglas Smith, including whether he understood what was happening.

“You want to go back to Ohio?” Smith asked. McCoy replied that he did and acknowledged that he had voluntarily signed a waiver of his right to have a hearing in Nevada to contest the Ohio warrant.

MCCOY
Las Vegas Pd  /  AP
Charles McCoy Jr. after he was arrested in Las Vegas.

The judge ordered McCoy, 28, held without bail until his extradition, citing the nature of the charges in Ohio and the injuries involved.

The shootings around Interstate 270 and two nearby highways began May 10, but intensified in fall, terrorizing motorists and pocking some homes and a school with bullet holes. Gail Knisley, 62, was shot and killed Nov. 25 while a friend drove her to a doctor’s appointment.

Investigators are looking into whether they have grounds to seek the death penalty for her slaying.

“You held a community at bay and terrorized the people of the state,” Smith told McCoy.

McCoy is charged with assault in Ohio but faces additional charges when he returns, detective said.

Zachary Scott, a Franklin County sheriff’s detective, attended the hearing and said he expected McCoy to be extradited “within a day or so.”

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McCoy was arrested Wednesday outside his room at a budget motel just off the Las Vegas Strip. Police said he had checked in about 24 hours earlier using his real name, and readily identified himself when he was apprehended.

McCoy was identified Monday as a suspect in the Ohio shootings when authorities there issued a bulletin saying he was believed to have mental health problems and a handgun.

Scott said police recovered a handgun during a search of McCoy’s car and motel room.

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