By Joe Anuta
The man accused of shooting livery cab driver Trevor Bell several times at close range in South Ozone Park and sticking up fast food restaurants around the borough turned down a plea deal last week. He will now go on trial later this month.
Shawn Peace, 22, was bereft of the Mohawk hairdo seen in his mug shot as he shuffled into Queens Criminal Court and formally rejected a deal April 6 that would have put him behind bars for 21 years in exchange for a guilty plea.
Peace, speaking through his attorney, reserved his right to testify at the trial, which is scheduled to begin April 28.
“It’s an outrage. He clearly believes that this judiciary system is broken and that he can get off a lot easier,” said Fernando Mateo, president of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, speaking on behalf of the Bell family. “I hope that the judge will sentence him to 50 years in jail. This is a career criminal. He doesn’t even deserve to see the light of day again. That is the reaction of the family.”
An attorney for Peace could not be reached for comment.
Peace, a North Carolina resident who once lived at 161-18 118th Ave. in Jamaica, is accused of attempted murder and robbery in connection with the Dec. 3 shooting, when he approached Big D’s Royal Cab Service, at 117-02 Merrick Blvd. in Jamaica, and asked for a ride to a dead-end street, at 117-60 122nd St. in Ozone Park, at about 8:50 p.m., according to the DA.
Bell drove him to the location and upon arrival an argument ensued between the two, which ended when Peace shot allegedly shot Bell several times in the limbs and neck, according to the criminal complaint.
Peace was also connected to six other robberies throughout the borough, according to the DA.
Between July and November 2010, Bell also allegedly robbed five restaurants and one other car service, the complaint said. In one case, he allegedly shot an employee of a Popeye’s Fried Chicken, at 245-01 Francis Lewis Blvd., who attempted to stop the robbery, the DA said.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.