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Man pleads guilty in murder of cab driver, sentenced to life in prison

Posted at 10:32 AM, Aug 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-11 13:33:39-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- One of the two suspects accused of murdering a local cab driver has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

Dyshawn Simpson, age 20, pleaded guilty Tuesday to the first-degree murder of James Wells. Simpson was sentenced to life in prison. Simpson's charges for arson, malicious wounding, and abduction were dropped.

Last August, Simpson stabbed wells multiple times because he didn't have the money to pay for a cab fare from Hopewell to Hanover. After that he set his cab on fire with a road flare.

Hanover investigators said Wells drove his 2004 gray Chevrolet minivan taxi from the Econo Lodge on Colonel Corner Drive in Hopewell to Mechanicsville where he was found dead.

Malibu Wells (left)

Malibu Wells (left)

During Tuesday's hearing, when asked if he had anything to say, Simpson looked at his mother and the family of Wells and apologized.

Simpson's mother, Marcella Dabney, said the son she raised would never do something so brutal, without being provoked somehow.

"My son is good.  He's always been a good kid.  Nobody has had a bad thing to say about him," said Dabney.

The victim's wife, Malibu Wells, said she doesn't believe Simpson's apology. "He may have meant the one to his mother, but I don't think he meant the one towards us," she said.

cabby-suspectsWells describes the last year as living through hell. As their anniversary date approaches, Wells said she hangs onto the good times she spent with her husband.

"He'd give you the shirt off his back; always trying to make you laugh. No matter what kind of day you were having, you had a smile on if James was around."

The other suspect in this case, Alisa Dejesus, 19, will go to trial later this year.