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SEATTLE (AP) - A trail of pennies led to the home of a teenager charged with killing a taxi driver and setting his cab afire, King County sheriff's deputies said Wednesday.
Earnest Lenell Collins Jr., 18, charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of Jagit Singh, a driver for Farwest Taxi, and his 16-year-old brother, sought on an unrelated fourth-degree assault warrant, were arrested Monday in Chicago and were being held pending extradition, sheriff's Sgt. John Urquhart said.
Robbery appeared to be the reason for the killing, according to documents filed by prosecutors Tuesday in Superior Court. Friends and associates told investigators Collins had been losing money gambling with dice at a housing project in Seattle and talked of "jacking someone" or robbing cab drivers to get cash.
A friend of Collins' girlfriend reportedly lives in Chicago. Urquhart could not confirm that Wednesday but said sheriff's detectives gave Chicago police the address where the brothers were found.
Bail on Collins was set at $5 million. It was unclear said either or both brothers would waive extradition.
Singh, reportedly working an overnight taxi shift to raise money to visit his wife in India, was dispatched to the Collins family's home near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac in response to a call about 2:30 a.m. on July 10, sheriff's Detective Eleanor R. Broggi wrote in a court filing.
He was found dead of two gunshot wounds to the head in the cab about an hour later after a neighbor reported the vehicle on fire and rolling backward.
A trail of pennies led up the driveway of the Collins home from where the cab was first seen on fire, Broggi wrote.
In a search of the family's home, investigators found clothing with burn marks.
Several people identified Collins' voice from a recording of the call to Farwest, and the call was traced to a cellular telephone that his girlfriend said she had sold him, according to the court filings.
Story Published: Jul 25, 2007 at 10:30 AM PDT
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B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
And I wonder why there are anti-gun groups? I swear, some people really do amaze me. It's incidents like this that really do set us back years and years. Gain an inch, loose a foot.
This must be one of those guns that slipped through the cracks of a gun buyback program. I wonder if the cabdriver turned in a gun that could have made a difference in the right hands. That's a hell of a way to go.
A trail of pennies? Am I the only one that finds this unusual?