A trail of pennies from a burning taxi cab led authorities to the home of a teenager, who is now charged with killing the cab driver, authorities said.
Driver Jagit Singh had been the working the night shift for Farwest Taxi when a caller reported seeing a cab in flames and rolling backward down a street around 2:30 a.m. on July 10, King County Sheriff’s Detective Eleanor R. Broggi wrote in a court affidavit.
Singh was found dead inside with two gunshots to the back of his head. Nearby, a trail of pennies led up the driveway of a home, Broggi wrote.
Earnest Lenell Collins, 18, and his 16-year-old brother lived in that home, near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and a search turned up clothing with burn marks, investigators said.
The two brothers were arrested in Chicago on Monday and were awaiting extradition, sheriff’s Sgt. John Urquhart said. Collins, charged with murder, was being held Wednesday on $5 million bond. A message left Thursday morning with the Cook County Department of Corrections press office was not immediately returned.
Collins’ brother, whose name was not released, was held on an unrelated fourth-degree assault warrant.
Prosecutors said robbery appeared to be the motive for the killing.
Friends of the two told investigators Collins had been losing money playing dice at a housing project in Seattle and talked about “jacking someone” or robbing cab drivers to get cash, according to documents filed by prosecutors Tuesday in Superior Court.
Several people also identified Collins’ voice from a recording of the initial call to Farwest requesting a cab, and the call was traced to a cellular telephone that Collins’ girlfriend said she had sold to him, according to the court filings.