Police: Fla. Cabbie Kills Unruly Passenger

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A taxi driver killed a drunken passenger when the man refused to get out of his cab, police said.

Robert Lee Smiley Jr. was charged with first-degree murder and was being held without bail Monday.

The victim, Jimmie Morningstar, became heavily intoxicated at a bar and started a scuffle early Saturday, and a bouncer paid Smiley $10 to drive Morningstar home.

"We thought we were doing the right thing," bar manager Dave Lynch said.

Outside Morningstar's home, two witnesses told officers they heard Smiley yelling at Morningstar to get out of the cab, and one saw Smiley try to pull Morningstar out, then zap him with a stun gun, a police report said.

Smiley, 56, yelled that he needed to make money and couldn't drive Morningstar around all night, one witness told police. According to the report, she said Smiley demanded: "Do you want me to kill you? Do you want to die?"

Police said Smiley fired a gun twice into the pavement toward Morningstar's feet, then twice at Morningstar, and drove off.

Morningstar, 43, died 30 minutes later at a hospital.


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