Columbia man pleads guilty to robbing cabbie stabbed 22 times during holdup

March 09, 1994|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Sun Staff Writer

A Columbia man accused of stabbing a taxi driver 22 times during a holdup last summer could be sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty yesterday to armed robbery.

Shawn Chinn, 27, of the 7000 block of Cradlerock Way in the Village of Owen Brown, entered his guilty plea in a hearing before Judge Dennis M. Sweeney in Howard Circuit Court.

As part of a plea agreement, the prosecution dropped charges of assault with intent to maim, assault with intent to rob, robbery, assault, battery and a weapons violation.

Chinn was accused of stabbing and robbing Gholamreza Asliyalfani of Savage during a struggle in Mr. Asliyalfani's taxi while it was parked in Columbia's Long Reach village Aug. 21, 1993.

Mr. Asliyalfani, who works for Columbia Cab Co., has recovered from his injuries. He suffered wounds to his upper torso and arms.

Senior Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Murtha will ask Judge Sweeney to sentence Chinn to four years in prison. Assistant Public Defender Sam Truette is expected to ask for a lesser sentence.

Chinn, who has no criminal record, is to be sentenced on May 3, pending a report by the county Department of Parole and Probation. Armed robbery carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Chinn, who was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident, could have been sentenced to 93 years in prison if he was convicted of all the charges filed against him.

According to a police report, Chinn called for a taxi at the Owen Brown Village Center shortly after 6 a.m. Mr. Asliyalfani arrived to pick him up, and Chinn told him to drive him to Long Reach.

As the cab neared the intersection of Tamar Drive and Silver Trumpet Drive, Chinn pulled out a military-style knife with a 12-inch blade and demanded money.

When Mr. Asliyalfani hesitated, he was stabbed from behind and then dragged into the back seat, where the attack continued, police said. Chinn took about $175 from the driver during the struggle.

Witnesses told police that they saw Chinn flee from the taxi and run into a wooded area. Police searched the area and found Chinn walking in a nearby stream bed shortly after the robbery.

The officers also found a knife with blood on it lying on the ground near where Chinn was arrested.

Chinn, who had blood on his shirt, admitted to investigators that he robbed and stabbed Mr. Asliyalfani after his arrest.

He has been held at the Howard County Detention Center on $500,000 bond since his arrest.

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