by: Tom Jones Updated:
CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - The mother of a man accused of killing a taxi driver is defending her son.
Julius Thomas, 20, was booked into the Clayton County Jail on murder charges after he was arrested in Rhode Island. He and Desmond Nixon are accused of murdering taxi driver Rosendo Casarrubias, 44, as he sat in his cab near Riverdale in January.
After Thomas made his first court appearance Tuesday, his mother said the allegations are hard on her and her family.
"He's never been in trouble. He's a good kid, and it's killing me. It really is," she told Channel 2's Tom Jones.
Officers said both suspects called Casarrubias to pick Nixon up at the CVS on Upper Riverdale Road.
Police said cameras in the area recorded a man in black getting in the cab.
Chief Clayton County Magistrate Court Judge Daphne Walker read from a police arrest affidavit to explain who police believe that man was.
"That Desmond Nixon entered the cab and during the armed robbery attempt did shoot the driver, Rosendo Casarrubias, causing his death," Walker read in court as Thomas looked on.
Officers said cell towers show while Nixon was in the cab he and Thomas texted and called one another to communicate about the planned robbery. Police said an inmate who knows Nixon said Nixon told him he shot the cab driver because he thought he was armed.
But Thomas' mother said her son is innocent.
"He didn't do it. I mean, the only thing they have on him is that it was his cellphone. But he never has his cellphone," Thomas said.
Thomas also said her son wasn't in Rhode Island because he was running from the law.
"No, he was already there. When he found out, I told him you're going to have to turn yourself in, because you know you didn't do this, so turn yourself in," she said.
Thomas said her son's father asked him to come there after the family received threats about Thomas being an informant in an unrelated case.
The judge denied bond for Thomas. He faces felony murder, conspiracy to commit crime and making false statements. Nixon was arrested recently.