Crime

Zebulon area man charged in cab driver’s killing

Conrad Rashad Patterson
Conrad Rashad Patterson

A second Franklin County man is charged with murder in the shooting death of cab driver Jose Nicolas Dominguez outside a North Raleigh apartment building early Monday.

Police arrested Conrad Rashad Patterson, 27, of 10 Leghorn Drive, a Zebulon address in Franklin County, Tuesday night, spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

Earlier Tuesday, detectives had charged Major Earl Edwards Jr. of Middle Street in Louisburg with murder.

Dominguez was found dead on Hodges Creek Drive in the Hodges Creek apartments off Old Wake Forest Road.

Police said shortly after Dominguez was killed that they believed several people were involved, but they have not specified a number.

They also have said the motive for the killing was uncertain, though other drivers for Amigo Taxi, where Dominguez was working when he was killed, said they think it was a robbery.

Amigo drivers formed to caravan to the Wake County Justice Center on Tuesday to attend Edwards’ first court appearance.

Patterson was held without bail Tuesday night and was slated for his first court appearance Wednesday.

State and Wake County records showed no criminal history for Patterson, who Sughrue said was arrested by the police department’s fugitive squad and brought to detective headquarters.

Police did not disclose where the squad found Patterson.

After hearing that Edwards was going to make his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon, 60 drivers with Amigo Taxi filed out of the company’s parking lot off Capital Boulevard and drove single-file to the Wake County courthouse.

“There was no bad behavior. We respected the speed limit and drove around the city to let everyone know that somebody killed one of our drivers,” said Edwin Romero, who manages the taxi service on Overlook Road, just off Capital Boulevard.

Dominguez, 55, was a native of the Dominican Republic who moved to Raleigh about 15 years ago. He’s the father of two grown children, including a New York City police officer, and had worked as a driver with Amigo Taxi for seven years.

Romero did not hesitate when asked if he and Dominguez’s fellow drivers thought robbery was behind the fatal shooting. “We think so,” he said.

Drivers shaken

The deadly shooting has shaken the taxi service, Romero said. Since the company started nine years ago, it has had its share of robberies, assaults and people who take off without paying their fare.

“It’s normal, people running without paying,” he said. “But never something like this.”

Dominguez lived on the bottom floor of an apartment complex on Brentwood Road, where neighbors and others had left bouquets wrapped in plastic and glass-encased candles near the front door. Romero described the stocky, bespectacled cabbie as a very honest man who worked hard and was respectful of others. He was known as “Papin.”

“Papin didn’t like trouble,” Romero said. “A lot of people in the community knew him. He wanted to help people with their problems.”

Dominguez worked the night shift all the years he was employed at Amigo Taxi because he didn’t like Raleigh’s daytime traffic, Romero said. When he wasn’t driving for Amigo Taxi, Dominguez’s life centered around food and friends.

“He loved food,” Romero said, “grilling out with friends, playing dominoes, hanging out at the lake barbecuing.”

Edwards was held without bail on Tuesday. He has a criminal record that does not include violent crime. He was convicted of felony breaking and entering and felony larceny in Wake County in 2013 and has two misdemeanor drug convictions in Franklin County.

He was placed on concurrent probation in all three instances and finished that without incident, according to state records.

Thomasi McDonald: 919-829-4533, @tmcdona75589225

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