Man accused of stealing cab, rolling it likely to plead guilty

Rosie Mullaley
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Twenty-six year-old due back in court Thursday

Justin Murphy

A St. John’s man suspected of stealing a taxi and speeding away from police last month is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges later this week.

The case of Justin Murphy was called in provincial court in St. John’s Tuesday.

The 26-year-old appeared via videolink from Her Majesty’s Penitentiary. His lawyer Michelle Wilson was in the courtroom.

She and Crown prosecutor Tannis King told the judge the case would be settled by way of speedy disposition, meaning Murphy will likely enter guilty pleas.

The case will be back in court Thursday, at which time Murphy will appear in person.

Murphy is charged with dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, assault with a weapon (the car), theft over $5,000 (the car) and breach of probation.

He’s also charged with several traffic violations.

Murphy was arrested in the early morning hours of May 23 after RNC patrol officers noticed the driver of a taxi commit a driving infraction near the Signal Hill tourist centre at about 3:15 a.m.

The officers tried to stop the vehicle after discovering it had been reported stolen from the downtown area.

Police followed the taxi up Signal Hill before the car was driven over a median towards a police officer, who had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.

Murphy was then said to have lost control of the taxi and crashed it in what police described as a single-vehicle rollover.

He reportedly tried to run away before being caught by officers.

Murphy has several other outstanding charges, including break and enter, theft and possession of stolen property from a Feb. 28 incident, along with break and enter and possession of stolen property from April 8-9.

He’s been in jail since his arrest, having been denied bail.

Twitter: @TelyCourt

Geographic location: Signal Hill

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