Defendant pleads guilty in taxi robbery case


By Joe Gorman

jgorman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Prosecutors are recommending 10 years in prison for an 18-year-old man who was shot in October by a cab driver he was trying to rob.

Drequan Abdullah pleaded guilty Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to charges of aggravated robbery with a firearm specification, robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Police said Abdullah tried to rob the cab driver in the Rockford Village housing project on the East Side but was instead shot in the leg by the cab driver.

Defense attorney David Engler will argue for less prison time when Abdullah is sentenced before Judge Maureen Sweeney. A sentencing date has not been set.

A co-defendant, Brandon Rosa, 20, received a six-year prison sentence after he also pleaded guilty. Prosecutors are recommending a higher sentence for Abdullah because he pulled a gun on the driver.

A juvenile defendant is having his case handled in juvenile court.

Abdullah and his co-defendants were arrested after a cab driver told police he was called to an address in Rockford Village about 10:40 p.m. Oct. 5 by three males who wanted him to take them to a home on Rutledge Drive, also on the East Side.

When they got there, one of them pulled a gun and demanded money, reports said.

Abdullah also pleaded guilty to an unrelated robbery. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped charges of aggravated robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

In that case, Abdullah was charged as an adult even though he was a juvenile and was free after posting 10 percent of a $5,000 bond before the cab driver was robbed.

Any sentence he receives in that case will run concurrent to the sentence he receives for robbing the cab driver.

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