Youth pleads guilty to shooting cabbie

September 21, 1994

A 17-year-old Annapolis youth charged as an adult in the shooting of an Annapolis taxi driver in March pleaded guilty to assault with intent to maim yesterday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court.

James E. Smith of the first block of Bens Drive will be sentenced by Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. on Oct. 25.

Smith shot Stewart Owens Cole, 44, of the 1600 block of Dorsey Road in Hanover, on March 28.

Police said Mr. Cole picked up Smith and two other youths in his cab near Bay Ridge Gardens apartments and drove them to the Annapolis Roads Apartments. The youths then asked to be driven from the complex, according to court records.

Mr. Cole, who was driving for the Colonial Cab Co., told police that as he started to pull away, one of the youths announced a holdup. Mr. Cole said he thought they were joking and cursed them. Smith then shot him in the back of the head.

Assistant State's Attorney Fred Paone said that Mr. Cole has recovered from the shooting and is back at work.

Smith's accomplices had their cases waived to juvenile court Aug. 22 by Judge Thieme, despite objections by Mr. Paone, who said that the seriousness of the offense meant they also should be tried as adults.

Mr. Paone said yesterday that one accomplice, a 16-year-old from Annapolis, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery in juvenile court this week and was committed by the Juvenile Services Administration. The other youth, a 15-year-old from Annapolis, is set to be tried in juvenile court on Oct. 17, he said.

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