A blossoming Internet romance between teenagers is believed to have been at the root of a deadly robbery that killed DC cab driver Quadar Muhammad in Northeast DC last week.
Muhammad was found dead Wednesday evening; his body was in a burning four-door Lincoln taxi. Police said that the car appeared to have run off the roadway and into a fence. An autopsy later determined that he had been shot in the head.
Police arrested Joshua Terrell Mebane and Linda Lee Bury, both 17, in connection with the case on Friday. According to charging documents, police believe the teens’ intent was to rob Muhammad.
In a statement Friday, police said the teens would be charged with felony murder. The statement did not identify Bury, but said a “juvenile female” was arrested along with Mebane. According to court records, both Mebane and Bury are being charged as adults in connection with the case.
The were each presented with a charge of felony murder while armed Saturday and ordered held pending a preliminary hearing on Nov. 20.
Charging documents in the case describe an intense young romance between the two. According to the documents, Bury, who lives with her parents in Parkton, Md., began talking to Mebane online in October. The teens first met in person Nov. 1, after which they began dating. Bury told police they had seen each other nearly every day since, and she had visited Mebane’s home in Waldorf, Md. which he shared with his mother.
According to charging documents, the couple were in DC last week and paid for a room at a Motel 6 on Nov. 7, but they were running low on cash.
“Somebody has got to get it,” Bury told police Mebane said.
Prosecutors said the teens then walked to the Greyhound station, hailed a cab, and asked the cab driver to take them to the back parking lot of Hamilton Junior High School at 1401 Brentwood Pkwy N.E.— a location only blocks from their motel.
When they got there, prosecutors say Mebane put a black glove, took out a handgun, and shot the cab driver. Bury told police that she covered her face with a hood to keep from seeing the shooting.
Prosecutors say the teens left the car, set it on fire and returned to their motel room.
Muhammad, the cab driver, was identified as the victim in court documents Saturday.
Charging documents do not mention any witnesses that were at the scene. Prosecutors say they were able to identify Mebane and Bury as suspects because Bury told a friend, “My boyfriend and I killed a cab driver.” That person then contacted officers with the Baltimore County Police Department.
Another witness described to prosecutors watching Bury search for news coverage of the alleged murder on the Internet, by typing “Dead body found by burning taxi in Washington, D.C.” into her Web browser, charging documents state.
According to court documents, Bury first told detectives she and Mebane were in a car accident in the taxi before telling them about the shooting.
Officers later obtained search warrants of Bury and Mebane’s homes. Among the items found there, according to court records, was a note in the pockets of Bury’s jeans.
“We should have took the dude’s money,” it said.
Charging documents in the case are below.