Official: DeKalb taxi driver murdered after man can’t afford fare

When police tracked him down, the suspect had blood on his clothes and an explanation for the killing.

David Garcia-Mendoza, 23, said he'd pulled a gun on a female taxi driver because she was going to report him for not paying the fare.

That's according to DeKalb County prosecutor Rod Wilkerson, who argued against the suspect's request for bond in court Friday.

"The defendant did confess," the prosecutor said. "To the actual murder."

Garcia-Mendoza, charged with murder in the death of 43-year-old Luz Mariana Matheu, was denied bond by Judge Shondeana Morris.

Matheu, an employee of Doraville's OK Taxi, was found slumped over the steering wheel of a 2015 Toyota Prius in Chamblee on Oct. 1. She had been shot in the head.

City police said she had just picked up the defendant at QuikTrip on Buford Highway.

According to the prosecutor, Garcia-Mendoza admitted to police that he pulled the gun after telling the driver he didn't have money for the ride. She'd threatened to call the police.

A fellow cab driver has said she saw the man pull the gun and followed the cab, while trying to call 911. The call wouldn't go through because dispatchers were busy, the witness said.

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Soon Matheu's cab crashed and the suspect ran.

After police found him, he said he remembered the crash but couldn't remember pulling the trigger, though he recalled pulling the gun, Wilkerson said.

But when asked by officers why he killed the driver, Garcia-Mendoza said, "because she was going to call the police on me," Wilkerson said.

The prosecutor, who is a deputy chief assistant district attorney, also pointed out that the defendant, a native of Mexico, is being held for immigration officials.

The judge denied bond, saying he could flee if released from jail and that he was "a danger to the public."