“Sh*t is sad. Dude is dead. Shoulda had that sh*t on safety.”
Alone and arrested, prosecutors say, these were Rashad Slye’s words. He was suspected in the shooting death and attempted robbery of Domingo Ezirike, a 40-year-old cab driver from Prince Georges County.
Police found Ezirike on October 22, 2011 around 4:00 a.m., dead of a gunshot wound, in the 4300 block of Ponds St. Northeast.
Friday, more than two years after Ezirike’s death and Slye’s arrest, and three months after pleading guilty to second-degree murder, Slye was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
His words Friday were for his mother.
“In my twenty-three years, I never listened, not once. You told me, ‘you gonna end up in jail,” Slye said.
At sentencing, the mother of Ezirike’s children, Stella Ayika, spoke about Ezirike’s death.
The morning he was killed, Ezikike’s daughters were waiting for their father to pick them up, Ayika told the court.
“How did daddy die? Was he sick? Why couldn’t you save him?” the girls asked when they learned their father was dead, Ayika said. “I can’t possibly muster the courage to tell my girls that another man killed him in cold blood.”
Prosecutors said that they believe that Slye could have easily been convicted of first-degree murder had the case gone to trial. But after long negotiations with Slye’s attorney, Douglas Woods, they decided to accept a plea of second-degree murder.
“There’s no case we’d rather go forward with, given that this is a truly innocent individual, serving the community during his job,” said Assistant United States Attorney David Gorman.
Prosecutors say that Ezirike stopped to pick up Slye and his girlfriend in his cab, but asked for $20 upfront to take them to Ponds St. Northeast from Maryland. During the ride, the two men got into an argument when Slye asked Ezirike to turn on the heat and the radio, and he refused.
Plea documents say that when the cab arrived at Ponds Street, Ezirike asked for an additional $7.75. Slye’s friend gave Ezirike $5.00 and Slye gave him $2.00, plea documents state. But Ezirike insisted on getting 75 more cents for the remainder of the fare, documents state.
Slye then began arguing over the fare and demanding the money back. He got out of the car, pulled out a silver 9mm handgun and told Ezirike to lay on the ground, then hit Ezirike in the head with the gun, court documents state.
After he was unable to find any money, Slye demanded to know where Ezirike kept his money, then told Ezirike to get back in the cab. As Ezirike sat in the cab’s driver’s seat, Slye shot him then fled, plea documents state.
Judge Anderson told Slye that she hesitated before accepting the plea agreement, noting that it seemed like “a very strong case for the government.”
A press release from the United States Attorney’s Office is below.
District Man Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison For 2011 Slaying of Taxicab Driver in Northeast Washington
-Shooting Took Place During a Robbery, Following Argument Over 75 Cents-
WASHINGTON – Rashad Slye, 23, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 17 years in prison for the 2011 killing of a taxicab driver during a robbery in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Slye pled guilty in January 2014, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to a charge of second-degree murder while armed. The plea agreement, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a sentence of 17 years in prison. The Honorable Jennifer Anderson accepted the plea agreement today and sentenced Slye accordingly. Upon completion of his prison term, Slye will be placed on five years of supervised release.
According to the government’s evidence, on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, at about 2:50 a.m., Slye and a friend called for a taxicab at the Morgan Boulevard Metro station in Landover, Md. Within a few minutes, the victim, Domingo Ezirike, 40, arrived in his taxicab and picked up Slye and his friend. Slye asked to be taken to Ponds Street NE in the District of Columbia. Mr. Ezirike asked Slye and his friend for $20, and the friend gave Mr. Ezirike $20. Within minutes, Slye began arguing with Mr. Ezirike about the fare and about the lack of heat or music in the cab.
Mr. Ezirike drove the cab to the 4300 block of Ponds Street NE and he asked for an additional $7.75 in fare. Slye’s friend gave him $5 and Slye gave him $2. However, Mr. Ezirike insisted on the additional 75 cents, and he and Slye argued over the money.
After Slye’s friend got out of the cab and left the immediate area, Slye continued to argue over the fare. He pulled out a 9mm handgun and demanded the $20 back. He also ordered Mr. Ezirike out of the cab and onto the ground. At that point, he stood over Mr. Ezirike and began to rifle through his pockets, asking where the money could be found.
Slye struck Mr. Ezirike in the head with the gun and continued searching him, insisting he was hiding the money. Mr. Ezirike offered to remove his pants and while still on the ground, did so. Slye then entered the vehicle, still holding Mr. Ezirike on the ground at gunpoint, as he searched the front passenger compartment. He then ordered Mr. Ezirike back into the taxicab and insisted that he search for money. Then, as Mr. Ezirike sat in the driver’s seat, Slye fired a single shot that struck him in the arm, causing him to immediately fall back into the seat and remain still. Slye immediately fled the scene towards the 1500 block of Anacostia Avenue NE.
Mr. Ezirike placed the vehicle in reverse and drove it backwards and onto grass on Anacostia Avenue. He died on the scene, as the bullet traveled from his arm and into his chest cavity.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of the detectives, officers and crime scene technicians who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. He also commended the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Meridith McGarrity, Mia Beamon, Phaylyn Hunt, Paralegal Supervisor Sharon Newman, Victim/Witness Advocate Tamara Ince, and Information Technology Specialist Leif Hickling. Finally, he expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys David J. Gorman and Kacie M. Weston, who prosecuted the case.