Third person charged in October murder of Columbus cab driver

Dontavis Screws (L) and Devin Durden (R). (Source: Muscogee County Jail)
Dontavis Screws (L) and Devin Durden (R). (Source: Muscogee County Jail)
(Source: Denise Mosley/WTVM)
(Source: Denise Mosley/WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – A third person has been arrested and charged with murdering a Columbus taxi cab driver in October 2016.

Police arrested and charged 21-year-old Jasmine Thomas on Tuesday with murder and armed robbery.

Jasmine Thomas is the third suspect to be taken into custody in a case centered around the senseless killing of an innocent man who was trying to make an honest living.

"This is one of the most dangerous jobs in Columbus I can think of. I mean, sure there are other dangerous jobs, but you are not out there 24/7 and you are going into neighborhoods I wouldn't even go into in the daytime, let alone in the night time,” said Tomera Immel, Dispatcher and Manager at American Armour Cab in Columbus.

Also a former cab driver, Immel says safety is now one of their biggest concerns, as well as staying in contact with the many drivers positioned around the city.

"We are in constant contact with them. If I haven't heard from my driver in a while, they tell me they are going to the strip mall and they went from the main post to the strip mall. I know how long it takes to get there. If they haven't called me in a certain amount of time, I'm calling them to see what's going on,” said Immel.

Increased amount of concern following the murder of 50-year-old taxi cab driver Dewayne Chronister; only the latest murder of a cab driver in the Valley.

According to phone records obtained by police, Screws and Durden planned a robbery of the cab driver and that is was a setup.

Two days after the murder, police arrested 21-year-old Dontavis Screws. Police also arrested 22-year-old Devin Durden.

Immel says it's a tragic reminder for cab drivers all across the city.

"To be safe, watch residents, watch dark alleys, don't go to closed businesses, and be aware of your surroundings. Watch everything going on," said Immel.

Cab drivers in the Valley are reportedly no longer obligated to pick up passengers if they feel uncomfortable. As independent contractors, the driver now has the right to decide if they want to decline services or not.

Thomas is set to appear in Recorder's Court Thursday at 9 a.m.

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