Teen accused in death of taxi driver in Lemon Grove pleads not g - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Teen accused in death of taxi driver in Lemon Grove pleads not guilty

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Investigators remove bags of evidence for the suspect's apartment in La Mesa Investigators remove bags of evidence for the suspect's apartment in La Mesa

EL CAJON (CNS) - A 19-year-old gang member accused of fatally shooting a taxi driver at the end of a cab ride in Lemon Grove pleaded not guilty Friday to murder and other charges.

Demetrius Sissac is charged with murder and a special circumstance allegation of killing a cab driver in the course of his duties in the death of 39-year-old Jalaludin Hamrah, an immigrant from Afghanistan.

Sissac faces life in prison without parole if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Joe McLaughlin.

El Cajon Judge Charles Ervin ordered the defendant -- who was on probation for auto theft -- held without bail and scheduled a Dec. 8 status conference and Jan. 18 preliminary hearing.

The prosecutor told the judge that the victim gave a ride to the defendant in the early morning hours of Oct. 30, and after the fare was completed, Sissac shot Hamrah to death in cold blood.

Hamrah was found dead in his cab, which rolled over in the 3400 block of Main Street around 3:50 a.m. Paramedics discovered a bullet wound in his upper body when they pulled him from the wreckage.

Sissac was arrested at 10:15 p.m. on Nov. 2, said San Diego sheriff's Lt Larry Nesbit.

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